Books, Movies

The Wonderful Effect of “Wonder”

One Sunday afternoon after church, the boys and I walked our way towards IFC Mall to visit the boys’ favorite hang-out: the YP Books! We each got our own books… over a cup of coffee for me and McFlurrys for the boys, we started reading.

“China Rich Girlfriend” was an easy, feel-good read. Hilarious and extravagant and a lot of fun. But it was my 11-year old boy who can’t put his book down. He was engrossed with “Wonder”. He laughed out loud reading the funny parts and shyly cried in some pages. As soon as he finished the books a few days after, he was adamant in making me read it. He wanted me to read and appreciate what makes it a great book and understand why he now puts it on the shelf where his “best books collection” is.

After watching the movie this weekend, my 11-year old son no longer felt alone.  Our whole family can relate and loves the movie. The lesson on kindness hits right at home. And we all talked about it and the boys wrote about it.

My 8-year old wrote:

“My family and I watched a movie called “Wonder”

It’s a story about a boy named Auggie Pullman. He went to school but he had to face some problems. This movie was about kindness and that looks don’t matter, but the personality does.

So when I watched the movie, I learned that it’s ok to be different. Like what the sister said in the story,

You can’t blend when you’re meant to stand out”.

I really like it.”

My 11-year old boy reflected:

“It was the start of his new school for Auggie, the boy with (take a deep breath) mandibulofacial dysostosis, a syndrome where you have a deformed face. Everybody acted like Auggie was some sort of monster and stayed away from him. There was this boy named Julian who judged Auggie by his looks and bullied him. Fortunately, Summer and Jack took pity on Auggie and were nice to him. They were nice to him at first because they felt sorry for him but eventually realized he is a normal, Star Wars-loving, smart, funny, kind kid.

You don’t judge people by their looks, you judge them by what’s inside (not literally inside like the flesh and blood). Be kind to everyone you meet because: 1, everyone is facing their own struggles and 2, everyone deserves to feel welcomed and feel kindness.

“If you had to choose between right or kind, choose Kind.” – Mr. Browne

I am glad I let my son read the book first. He was able to internalize the story of kindness and visualize for himself how it can emotionally affect people around him. Watching the movie was supplemental to the emotions that were already enkindled in him.

I hope the lessons of the story will live on in each of us. As my sons go to school this week, my husband and I wrapped our arms around them with the gentle reminder to

“act just a little kinder than necessary”

because just like in the movie, everyone is going through different battles and this little extra act of kindness is enough to make a wonderful difference.



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