BG community embraces 'Wonder' PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:04
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A duct tape art banner made by Bowling Green Middle School students, resembling the cover of the book "Wonder", is seen during a kick off for the Youth Community Reads Program at the Wood County District Public Library on May 1, 2013. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green kicked off its first "Youth Community Reads Month" last week with a book that focuses on acceptance, civility, celebration of differences and choosing kindness.
"Wonder," by R.J. Palacio, follows the story of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with a facial deformity and is about to start fifth-grade at Beecher Prep. Like other kids, Auggie just wants to fit in and have friends.
As part of the kick-off on May 1,  those in attendance received "Choose Kind" bracelets, which had suggestions for acts of kindness attached to them. One suggestion was to "apologize for your mistakes and make amends." There was also a large board in the Children's Place filled with suggestions for kindness and supplies for making bookmarks promoting kindness.
"Paws for Reading" participants read aloud a section from the novel and Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards, who also read the book, proclaimed May "Youth Community Reads Month."
"We really want this to be a celebration of creativity, kindness and community," said Maria Simon, head of Youth Services for the Wood County District Public Library.
Patti Rish, library media specialist at Bowling Green Middle School, said the book has "gone viral" and 600 Bowling Green Middle School students have read it. Several students were so moved by the book they launched anti-bullying and promoting kindness campaigns.
"If we can all catch the 'virus' of trying to make the world a better place, that is a virus I would like to catch," Rish said.
Alexis Reinbolt an eighth-grader at BGMS, was spurred into action after reading the books. She and several classmates created posters encouraging kindness and promoting anti-bullying efforts. BGMS students also created a "Wonder" book cover out of duct tape. Their creation is on display in a window in the Children's Place.
"People should not be judged and made fun of just because you are different," she said. " I know what that feels like."
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Library employee Cassie Guion reads an excerpt from "Wonder" during a kick off for the Youth Community Reads Program at the Wood County District Public Library.
Reinbolt said the book made her realize "even though you may be different, it doesn't mean people don't care about you."
Program coordinators encouraged families to read the book together and discuss it. The library has discussion questions and other materials available in the Children's Place.
"It's a fabulous story for all readers," Simon said.
As part of the "Youth Community Reads Month" there will be "An Evening of Wonder" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Performing Arts Center. The night will feature music, drama, dance and art inspired by the book.
There will be performances by the by the Horizon Youth Theatre and Bowling Green Children's Opera. Artwork from a variety of organizations and art students will be on display.
"Wonder" author R.J. Palacio will join the festivities via video recording.
In addition to "An Evening of Wonder," several other special events are planned.
• May 21, 2:30 p.m. - "Snack and Yak" at the middle school.
• May 22, 7 p.m. - "Novel Chit Chats" adult-youth book group, WCDPL Program Room. Palacio will join the discussion live via Skype.
• TBA - "Fiction Addiction," at Bowling Green High School.
 

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