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How 'Choose Kind' Got Started

“If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind."
-Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

This quote by Dr. Dyer, introduced as a precept by Mr. Browne, on the first day of school in Wonder, set the tone for the rest of the year at Beecher Prep. It also set the tone for Wonder, a book that, on the outside is about a boy with a craniofacial difference but in its heart and soul, is about kindness. The theme of kindnessand tolerance are waht made Wonder resonate with so many people around the world. 

Since it’s  publication, Wonder has been embraced by teachers and students, incorporated into curriculum plans, and selected for countless school-wide and community reads across the country. It is a perfect book to read aloud or read alone, and a vehicle for discussions about kindness, bullying, responsibility, overcominh challenges, and friendship.

Community Reads

Community Reads are programs that attempt to get everyone in a city, state, community, or school to read and discuss the same book. Wonder has already been chosen by many communities throughout the country for this unique program, either at a schoolwide, citywide, and even a state-wide level. Staged readings, contests, shows, and all kinds of creative outlets have been created in support of these Wonder events. Random House and R.J. Palacio are happy to work with local bookstores to help promote any communities that wish to stage similar events. Please contact for requests. And click on the links below to get ideas and inspiration from what others have already done with Wonder in their communities.

Some past communities that have taken part

For Booksellers

Certify your store kind!  

Email to request a kit.

Includes a CertifiedKind permanent shelf talker, kindness chains, buttons for staff and tote bag. Kindness Jar to set up a CertifiedKind display in your store.

Customers can help by giving the gift of Wonder to someone they know or adding to your kindness chain in store. Consider having a CertifiedKind jar in store and adding a pom-pom or marble each time a book is sold or a kind deed is done.

Don’t forget to post photos to social media using #ChooseKind.

Email a photo of your display to and your store will become officially CertifiedKind and we'll add you to our map.

Looking for other ways to Choose Kind?

'Choose Kind' News

My Son Is My Own 'Wonder' Boy

Contributor: Charlie Beswick
The Mighty, Jan 8, 2018

I have recently read, “Wonder” by R.J.Palacio for the second time and I still said “Wow” at the end. I’m not going to give you a book review, you have Amazon for that, but I will say that if you have never read it, regardless of the genre you usually enjoy, you probably won’t be disappointed. You see, at the core of the book is a message of kindness, and to be honest, even though the story might not be your “thing,” if kindness isn’t, then there really is some work to be done on you my friend. Everyone I know who has read the book raves about it. It seems to touch them in a beautiful way, but it touched me on a whole different level.

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CHOOSE KIND /‘Wonder,’ the popular book and major motion picture, inspires a challenge for HMS students.

By Don Ratzlaff
Hillsboro Free Press, Jan 2, 2018

That’s the power of “Won­der,” a national phenomenon that is challenging the world to encourage others rather than tear them down.

Now, it’s being embraced at Hillsboro Middle High School as a student grass-roots movement with a simple challenge: “Choose Kind.”

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Gift of Literacy: Coweta I-High Freshmen Donate Books to Head Start

By Christy Wheelland
Wagoner Country American Tribune, Dec 20, 2017

Christmas came a little early for children at the Community Action Resource and Development (C.A.R.D.) Head Start center last week as they were gifted with age appropriate reading material by freshmen students at Coweta’s Intermediate High School.

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Jacob Tremblay Shares His No. 1 Tip For Kids Who Have Been Bullied

By Alessia Santoro
Popsugar December 3, 2017

Eleven-year-old Jacob Tremblay is a literal onscreen wonder in the film version of R.J. Palacio's New York Times bestseller, Wonder, but as it turns out, he's pretty spectacular off screen as well. In a recent interview with Jacob, the young actor told POPSUGAR how he got into his role as Auggie Pullman, a boy with facial differences who starts going to mainstream school in fifth grade after being homeschooled, why he's so excited to spread the film's message to "Choose Kind," and his best tip for dealing with bullies.

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Real-Life Wonder Kids Talk About Their Lives and How They 'Shake Off' Bullying

By Jason Duaine Hahn 
People, November 20, 2017 03:38 PM

The new movie, Wonder, starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, follows a young boy named August Pullman who was born with facial differences (author R.J. Palacio has said his condition is based on the genetic disorder Treacher Collins). The film is shining a spotlight on the hardships people endure when they have a condition that disfigures their appearance.

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R.J. Palacio's 'Wonder' is an important lesson in the power of kindness

By MJ Franklin
Mashable, November 27, 2017

The first thing you'll notice about author R.J. Palacio is her incredible optimism.

Even while talking about school bullying, the author refuses to believe that children are inherently mean.

“I feel like kids really do want to do good, they want to be their best selves, and sometimes they don’t know how to do that. There’s never a kid who’s irredeemable,” she says.

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Review: ‘Wonder’ reminds viewers about value of kindness

By Kristina Valdez
Baylor Lariat, November 27, 2017

I know the baby blue cover of R. J. Palacio’s novel “Wonder” by heart; the book has sat in my brother’s room since he bought it from a school book fair in 2012. When the movie was released on Nov. 17, it wasn’t long before we were sitting in the theater with a bowl of popcorn.

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County Middle Schools Make “Wonder” Film a Learning Opportunity

By Josh Mandell
Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 20, 2017 at 9:30 p.m

Albemarle County middle school students are flooding local movie theaters this week to see a new film about bullying, and how it can be prevented.

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Greendale Students Are Learning to 'Choose Kind' Through the Book and New Movie 'Wonder'

By Tiffany Stoiber, Now News Group, November 20, 2017

GREENDALE - When presented with the option, Greendale students are choosing "kind." 

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Libertyville youth speaks as part of Choose Kind

By Steve Hoffman 
Journal Republican, Nov 07, 2017

“It changed my life because it gave me a hero to look up to,” said Dankelson of the book authored by R.J. Palacio. “The best thing about ‘Wonder’ being popular is it has brought positive attention to those with facial differences.

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Teaching Civility in a Not-So-Civil World

By Jennifer Kantor
New Jersey Family, November 1, 2017

How to nurture respect and compassion during divisive political times.

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Centennial students see prerelease screening of 'Wonder'

Times Online, October 31, 2017

Heidi Scalf's fourth-grade students at Centennial School in Streator have been reading and discussing the book "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio. The school received a grant for 12 copies of the book from the Children's Craniofacial Association, as well as a discounted rate on buying others.

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American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association Hosts ‘Wonder’ Screening Event in Durham November 19

Oct 30, 2017 

The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) is hosting a special screening event for the major motion picture Wonder on November 19 at Southpoint AMC Theater in Durham. The festivities will begin at 2:30 p.m. with refreshments, followed by a brief program and feature film screening.

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How One Unkind Moment Gave Way To 'Wonder'

By All Things Considered
NPR, September 12, 2013

In Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of Auggie, a tough, sweet, 10-year-old boy, who was born with distorted facial features — a "craniofacial difference" caused by an anomaly in his DNA.

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Tweet what makes you smile this Valentine's Day and help a child in need

By  Aliza Weinberger
Mashable, February, 2016

It may be cold outside this Valentine's Day, but Operation Smile and Random House Children's Books want to see what warms your heart.

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'Wonder' Author R.J. Palacio Talks Her New E-Books, "Choose Kind," And The Novel's Massive Success

By Rachel Simon
Bustle, May 12, 2015

It couldn't have been a more fitting title. More than three years after the release of Wonder, R.J. Palacio's game-changing smash of a debut, the novel has proved to be one of children's books biggest success stories.

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Choose Kind Chicago Day Includes 'Wonder' Author R.J. Palacio

By Howard Ludwig
DNA Info, June 18, 2015 

BEVERLY — Mary Cate Lynch, of Beverly, has visited with students throughout the Chicago-area and asked them to "Choose Kind."

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