One of my favorite things about summer is that my kids love to swim and while they are swimming I get to read to my heart's content.  There is nothing better than a great book poolside.  

I Just finished this book.  Reagan read it several months ago and couldn't put it down.  Then a friend from my book club recommended so I gave it a spin. 

I think it should be required reading for every middle school child in America.  

 I think it had a profound effect on Reagan and after reading it, I can see why. 

 I love the way good books can do that.

Kudos to the author, R.J. Palacio.

The main character is a 5th grade boy named August.  He just happens to have a severe craniofacial abnormality.  It is hard for people to look at him.  And he knows it.  People -adults and children- are often horrified when they first look at him.  Even the ones that are kind and try to hide it can't disguise their shock. 

His parents decide it is time to put him in public middle school for the first time in his life.  (He had been home-schooled up to this point because his life had been filled with so much surgery it would have been impossible for him to keep up with a traditional schedule) But he is off the charts smart.  As you can imagine, middle school is brutal for a kid with this cross to bear.  It is hard to read at times because it feels so realistic.  Mankind can be so mean spirited but this is story that will restore your faith in humankind.  And it's always nice to be reminded when we are all complaining about our first world problems that there are people out there that have it a lot tougher.

Although it is a work of fiction, I noticed that in the acknowledgements RJ thanks a nameless little girl she saw one day on a bench  outside an ice cream shop for the inspiration for the book.    

I highly recommend it to young and old alike.

Happy summer reading.


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