Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


As I've traveled through various slices for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge,

I have found several teachers who are currently reading R.J. Palacio's Wonder to their class. I was drawn to these posts first of all because this is our current read-aloud and secondly because I love to hear of teachers who are using literature to help their children understand differences.

Caution: This post contains a spoiler. I included it because I believe it is not going to ruin the book for anyone, but want you to be forewarned.

As a young girl who already knew she wanted to be a teacher and a high school student who explored various opportunities working with students with special needs, my heart will always be for the downtrodden, the bullied, and those who struggle in any way. Exposing my children to stories with these themes is a priority for me.

I've wanted to read Wonder to them since it was published. Several times I put myself on the library's waiting list, only to have it arrive when we were in the middle of another book and not ready to begin. Then I'd have to return it in two weeks with no chance of renewal since it was still on hold for someone else. And of course I had that three month sabbatical when I was in Utah with Victor. When we started our until on blindness, we also started reading Wonder together. Finally!

Just as everyone told me, and as I continue to read on the current blogs, the book is an excellent read. Every child should be exposed to August and his experiences as a 5th grader in school for the first time,  enduring the cruel treatment of others in response to his facial deformities. Of course, in the wonderful world of literature, by the end of the book, there are those who see him for who he truly is. Life doesn't always turn out that way but if we can change the hearts of a few of our children toward others, maybe we can make the world a better place for the Augusts of this world. This is my theme as I read this book, and others like it, with my children.

Other books we have enjoyed together on the topic of understanding differences of many kinds:

Betti on the Highwire by Railsback
Flying the Dragon by Lorenzi
Home of the Brave by Applegate
Hurt Go Happy by Rorby

I'd love to hear about others!


  1. I love that book and gave it to a few of my grandchildren for Christmas gifts. Thanks for the list of other books. I have not read them, so I will add them to my list!

  2. This was my third year reading Wonder as a read aloud. I am always so happy when I hear the kids have gone back to their families and told them about this amazing book and they buy a copy to share with their siblings. Passing the word of tolerance, acceptance and love is the most important role I have as a teacher. I especially love Mr.B's precepts and we put them up around the classroom to remember and refer to.

  3. I finished Wonder this morning. So proud of Jack and Amos! A friend shared that she cried, but now I realize- all happy tears.

  4. "Paperboy" is another one - about a young boy with a stuttering problem. You may only want to have the older ones read that one though - there is some language, some violence, and a few innuendos about a woman's body.