White Bird: A Wonder Story

By: R.J. Palacio

Illustrator: R.J. Palacio

In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.

Sara’s harrowing experience movingly demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives. As Grandmère tells Julian, “It always takes courage to be kind, but in those days, such kindness could cost you everything.” With poignant symbolism and gorgeous artwork that brings Sara’s story out of the past and cements it firmly in this moment in history, White Bird is sure to captivate anyone who was moved by the book Wonder or the blockbuster movie adaptation and its message.

Afterword. Author’s note. “A Note About the Dedication.” Glossary. Reading list. Resources. Bibliography. Full-color digital illustrations. Black-and-white photographs.

ISBN: 9780525645542

JLG Release: Mar 2020


Sensitive Areas: Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War
Topics: World War II (1939–1945) , The Jewish Holocaust (1942–1945) , German occupation of France, 1940–1945 , Friendship , First love , Grandmothers and grandchildren , People with disabilities , Empathy , Courage , Graphic novels

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Awards & Honors

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal, Booklist

School Library Journal

This graphic novel expands on Grandmère’s childhood story, which was referenced in The Julian Chapter, a companion to Palacio’s Wonder. Grandmère tells Julian about her childhood in France. She describes how her comfortable, happy life changed in the summer of 1940, when the Germans occupied part of France. Though Grandmère, or Sara, and her This graphic novel expands on Grandmère’s childhood story, which was referenced in The Julian Chapter, a companion to Palacio’s Wonder. Grandmère tells Julian about her childhood in France. She describes how her comfortable, happy life changed in the summer of 1940, when the Germans occupied part of France. Though Grandmère, or Sara, and her family lived in the free zone, she tells Julian, “Nothing was really normal anymore. Not if you were Jewish, like us.” As the war progresses, it becomes more real to Sara, but she doesn’t understand the danger until the day that the Nazi soldiers arrive at Sara’s school to take the Jewish children. Sara hides to escape capture but doesn’t know what to do next until she is rescued by a classmate who leads her to safety. The boy, Julien, though she knows him by the cruel nickname Torteau (French for “crab”), uses crutches to walk because his legs were affected by polio. The two become friends, and their relationship even turns romantic as the years pass while Sara is in hiding, but Julien’s character doesn’t become more than a tragic hero. Moments set in the present featuring Julian and Grandmère frame the tale and draw parallels to family separation at the U.S. border, offering a powerful conclusion. An author’s note discusses Palacio’s connection to the story, and back matter provides further information about the war, the period, and more. Sure to be popular among fans of Wonder and educators who want to connect past to present.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525645542

First Release

March 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

10" x 7"

Page Count

224

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.5; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.5; Points: 5;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War

Topics

World War II (1939–1945), The Jewish Holocaust (1942–1945), German occupation of France, 1940–1945, Friendship, First love, Grandmothers and grandchildren, People with disabilities, Empathy, Courage, Graphic novels,

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Cover Art

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