Friday, November 08, 2013

Summer Book Club for Kids: Wonder by RJ Palacio

This post is part of an ongoing Summer Reading for Kids series. Click HERE to find ideas for reading activities, reading lists, and reading incentives...and keep checking back for more!

Throw a summer book club for your kids and their friends. Ideas for discussion questions, activities, crafts, and refreshments about the book "Wonder" by RJ Palacio. #overstuffedlife

This summer Chloe chose the book Wonder by RJ Palacio for her Book Club for Girls.  She had read it during our Epic Vacation (click here and see the book camping with her!) and absolutely loved it.  "Mom," she said, "it's a book about learning to love yourself and learning that everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like."

Chloe (age 10) made the invitations herself by printing out the head that is on the book cover and gluing it to blue paper.  She hand-wrote the details of time and place and made sure to hand them out about six weeks ahead of time so her friends would have a chance to acquire and read the book.

Invitation to book club for Wonder by RJ Palacio

We made a strip of paper for each girl that said "{Girl's name} is a wonder because_________" and taped them on each girl's back as she arrived for the book club.  They took turns writing positive things about each other, and we read them later in our discussion.  Because Chloe invited friends from different circles (school, church, neighborhood), not all of them knew each other, but they still managed to find wonderful things to say about everyone and I could tell it made each girl feel special as they read their own cards.

Book Club for Girls
They were so excited to do this activity that they never made it out of the front porch/mudroom area!
Book Club for Girls
Chloe and some of her friends.
Once everyone arrived and had a chance to write on all the cards, we moved into the living room where we began the discussion.  I was incredibly impressed with how thoughtful their answers to the questions were.  All of them had truly loved the book and felt it was very applicable to their lives.

Here are the discussion questions we used:
  1. Did you like the way the author told the story from different view points?
  2. Whose viewpoint did you enjoy the most?
  3. What parts of the story made you the saddest?
  4. What parts of the story made you laugh?
  5. Which character did you relate to the most?
  6. Which of Mr. Browne's precepts did you like best?  Why?
  7. How did you feel about the ending?
  8. What was the most important thing you learned from this book?
We then did an activity where each girl drew a piece of paper out of a box.  Each of the papers had a word or phrase meant to evoke more discussion about the book.  I got the idea from this website, and used the words she recommended:   Astronaut Helmet, Padawan, Email, The Sound of Music.  We also added our own so there would be a slip of paper for each girl. (I no longer remember what other words we added, but Chloe helped me find good ones in the story.) This activity prompted more great discussion!

For our craft activity, I purchased 4x6 frames at the Dollar Store and brought out all of my craft supplies: ribbon, jewels, buttons, and fabric strips and the girls went to town decorating them. I made a 4x6 printable of one of Mr. Browne's Precepts (Chloe's favorite) and printed one for each girl, which they put into their fully-decorated frames.
"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."

choose kind
Click through to download printable from Flickr.  It will print at 4x6.  Click here for help downloading from Flickr.

I love all of the creativity!  This was, by far, the girls' favorite activity of the afternoon.  Because what girl doesn't love an awesome craft project?  Chloe displays her framed quote right by her bed, and I know several of her friends do the same.

Choose Kind Wonder by RJ Palacio
Choose Kind: Wonder by RJ Palacio
Choose Kind: Wonder by RJ Palacio

Once everyone was finished with the craft project, we moved to the dining room where we ate ice cream.  Chloe and I went through the book to find a treat that matched the book, and it seems August and his family and friends ate a lot of ice cream.  So ice cream it was!

The girls had a wonderful time, and most importantly, they read a wonderful book.  We are already looking forward to our next book club!

If you have any great book suggestions for 10-11 year old girls, please comment!

More books for girls:
Four Fantasy Series Tween Girls Will Love
Our 2011 Summer Reading
Our 2012 Summer Reading

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. That is seriously the sweetest thing. You are the best mom ever. {smooches}

  2. Was this part of an ongoing book club that other people host sometimes too, or a one-time thing you guys did? Either way, I agree with Hilary that you are an awesome mom.

  3. My daughter is in fourth grade and she loved Because of Winn Dixie. It is also a movie ( which she also loved) They read it as a class and the whole class was into it.