I recently read the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. Wonder is one of those youth fiction books that is geared for youth, but is equally enriching for adults. I"ll admit I was a little afraid to read this book as it deals with one of my soft spots- how children with disabilities are treated by society. But while there were certainly parts that were tough for me to read, the overall tone of this book is triumphant! I think this book would make a great read aloud to your pre-teen children as it provides much discussion about important life lessons such as how we treat people who look different from us, the importance of how we choose our friends and how to overcome our fears.
One theme throughout the book is kindness. I love this quote from J.M. Barrie that is used in the book:
"Shall we make a new rule of life...always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?".
Practicing kindness, kindness goes just a bit further than is necessary, is a wonderful way to live- and could truly change this cruel world.