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  1. Wonder By R. J. Palacio

  2. Book Trailer •

  3. Natalie Merchant’s “Wonder”

  4. Ever hear stories about a genie in a magic lamp? This is what a magic lamp might look like.

  5. DoogieHowser was a TV show in the 1980s and 1990s about a genius kid who becomes a doctor at age 16. What does it tell you about the doctor when Auggie was born if his parents kept calling him Doogie? (Um, Doogie's the one in the front.)

  6. Most of us are familiar with Star Wars, and get ready for a ton of Star Wars references in the book. Auggie says that he and Christopher used to play with toy lightsabers, probably something like these.

  7. Dragon Rider is a book by Cornelia Funke, who also wrote Inheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath. Imagine reading this when you were six years old. That's kindergarten! •

  8. I wish I had some red Adidas shoes like Mr. Tushman.

  9. Rubik's Cube was a popular toy in the 1980s, and no, I could never solve it on my own. Here's the original one plus one made with mirrors like Mr. Tushman has on his desk.

  10. Mr. T. was a big time celebrity in the 1980s. He was on the original A-Team TV show. He was also a boxer in one of the Rocky movies, Rocky III. One of his famous catchphrases was, "I pity the fool who ..." followed by some sort of description. Something like, "I pity the fool who doesn't read books!" •

  11. Auggie says that Charlotte is wearing green Crocs, probably something like these. Is it important that Auggie has already mentioned other people's shoes three times?) Does that tell us something about him?

  12. Charlotte tells Auggie that she was in the school's play the previous year. Oliver! features numerous children as main characters, making it a good option for a school musical.

  13. Via needs to take the "A train down to Eighty-Sixth, then the cross-town bus all the way to the East Side. Takes an hour that way..." Anyone ride the subway or city bus (not the school bus) to school? Here's a picture of the A train and a New York City cross-town bus.

  14. Auggie doesn't have any experience in school, so on his first day he says he thought Ms. Petosa would look like Miss Fowl from Jimmy Neutron. (He describes Miss Fowl as "an old lady with a big bun on her head.") Instead he realizes that Ms. Petosa looks like Mon Mothma from Star Wars Episode IV.

  15. First, Auggie has a small braid in the back of his hair. In class Julian asks him if it's a "Padawan thing." A Padawan is a Jedi apprentice. Here's a picture of young Anakin Skywalker where you can see his Padawan braid.

  16. We also learn that Auggie's favorite character is Jango Fett... ...not to be confused with his son, Boba Fett.

  17. Finally, and probably the most important Star Wars reference in this section, Julian asks Auggie if he likes Darth Sidious. Of course Auggie knows what happens to Darth Sidious in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Why would Julian mention Darth Sidious?

  18. Finally, this is the second time Auggie mentions that he has a cleft palate. Cleft means "split or divided" and your palate is the roof of your mouth. He says that even after two surgeries, he still has a hole in the roof of his mouth, which makes eating rather difficult and messy. He says that when he eats he looks like a tortoise eating. He's not trying to be funny. Just imagine, when describing himself to others, he compares himself to "some prehistoric swamp thing."

  19. When Summer says goodbye to Auggie after school, his mother asks about her. Auggie's mom comments that Summer seems nice and is pretty. Auggie says, "We're kind of like Beauty and the Beast." Most of you are probably familiar with the Disney movie version of Beauty and the Beast, but the story was originally published in the 1700's.

  20. Auggie and his dad call each other "Auggie Doggie" and "dear ol' Dad" after an old cartoon called Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. Might as well see a clip. Why pass up an opportunity to watch a cartoon?

  21. Auggie's mom is reading The Hobbit aloud to him each night. The Hobbit is a classic high fantasy novel published by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1937. The Lord of the Rings is actually a sequel to The Hobbit.

  22. "Hey, the truth is, if a Wookiee started going to the school all of a sudden, I'd be curious, I'd probably stare a bit!" Truth is, so would I.

  23. It's not really needed to understand the story, but I can't pass up an opportunity to see the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. That's who Summer was last year for Halloween. And Summer is right. It was a book first, written by L. Frank Baum and originally published in 1900. The author wrote thirteen sequels.

  24. I always thought the Cheese Touch was pretty funny in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But when something similar to the Cheese Touch is going on, and it's for no reason other than because of who a person is, that's another thing completely. And a much less funny thing.

  25. It's not necessary to know the whole history behind the Bleeding Scream costume, but it's nice to get the image in your head so you know what Auggie is talking about. It's become a pretty familiar mask at Halloween. This one includes a pump so fake blood will ooze down the mask.

  26. Students give more comparisons to describe what Auggie looks like. Later, Auggie says he's heard them all before, but what makes these comparisons especially hurtful when he hears them? On Halloween he hears orc, a creature from the Lord of the Rings, and a shrunken head.

  27. When Auggie tells some of the other names he's heard people say about him, he mentions two movie characters. The first is an alien called E.T. (who everyone thought was super-cute and cuddly), and Freddy Krueger, a character from a horror movie (who nobody thought was super-cute or cuddly.)