2013 Santa Monica READS features Wonder by R.J. Palacio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:  January 17, 2013

Contact:  Robert Graves, Public Services Librarian
Phone:  (310) 458-8635
E-mail:  robert.graves@smgov.net 

Santa Monica, CaliforniaSanta Monica READS, a community reading program that invites everyone in the community to read and discuss the same novel in free book discussions and events held throughout the city, takes place February 16 through March 23, 2013. 

Santa Monica Reads marks its eleventh year in 2013 with the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  A critically-acclaimed 2012 release by publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Wonder is the story of ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pullman, an ordinary boy in every way, except for a congenital facial deformity that has kept him away from most children his age.  Previously home-schooled, Auggie begins attending school with other kids in the fifth grade, and the novel chronicles not only Auggie’s transformation over the next year, but also the changes experienced by his family, friends and classmates.  Embracing a message of kindness and compassion, Wonder reminds us all not to judge a book, or a boy, by its cover.  It is universal story that everyone can relate to and is sure to provoke discussion among readers of all ages.

Wonder is available now from the Santa Monica Public Library, as is a resource guide that provides more information on the book, its author and upcoming Santa Monica Reads events.  Santa Monica Reads is sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library, with support by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library and other community, educational and local business partners.  Please join us for one more of the following events and book discussions: 

  • The Power of Bullying – UCLA Psychology Professor Jaana Juvonen, an expert in the field of bullying and youth peer pressure, presents this discussion on bullying for adults. Tue., Feb. 19, at 7:00 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • J.R. Martinez: Full of Heart – The Dancing With the Stars champion and Iraq War hero discusses his new autobiography.  Wed., Feb. 20, at 7:00 p.m., MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Screening: The Elephant Man – David Lynch film about  John Merrick, an intelligent and sensitive British man, who was marginalized by society due to his physical deformities.  Tue., Feb. 26, at 6:30 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Bonus Book Discussions: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye – Join us for either of these bonus discussions of a classic novel with themes similar to Wonder.  Thur., Mar. 7, at 7:00 p.m., Main Library, Community Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. and Wed., Mar. 20, at 7:00 p.m., Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
  • Screening and Filmmaker Q&A: Mask – Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anna Hamilton Phelan introduces and joins a post-screening discussion of this 1985 hit film starring Cher as the mother of a teenage son with a craniofacial condition similar to the one portrayed in Wonder.  Sat., Mar. 9, at 2:00 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Cinema Connections Screening & Discussion: Bully, The Movie – This frank documentary looks at the lives of bullied children and asks what we can do to stop the epidemic. Following the screening, teens and older adult filmgoers are invited to participate in a discussion of the film.  Sat., Mar. 16, at 2:00 p.m., Main Library, MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • An Afternoon with R.J. Palacio, featuring the Voices of Wonder – Author R.J. Palacio presents an engaging discussion of Wonder, following by a book sale & signing. A special staged reading of scenes from Wonder, directed & adapted by Edward Edwards, precedes the author’s talk. Sat., Mar. 23, at 2:00 p.m., Lincoln Middle School Auditorium, 1501 California Ave.


Participation in a book discussion of Wonder is also greatly encouraged.  Trained volunteer facilitators lead these free public discussions.  Discussions are open to readers of all ages, but those designated as Family Discussions will have a focus on families reading together.   

 

  • Sat., Feb. 16, at 11:00 a.m., Fairview Branch Library, 2102 Ocean Park Blvd.
  • Wed., Feb. 20, at 7:00 p.m., Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
  • Thur., Feb. 28, at 4:00 p.m., Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth St.
  • Tue., Mar. 5, at 1:00 p.m., Earth Wind & Flour Restaurant, 2222 Wilshire Blvd.
  • Wed., Mar. 6, at 7:00 p.m., FAMILY DISCUSSION at Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
  • Sat., Mar. 9, at 11:00 a.m., Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St.
  • Mon., Mar. 11, at 4:00 p.m., FAMILY DISCUSSION at Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Thur, Mar. 14, at 6:30 p.m., SPANISH LANGUAGE FAMILY DISCUSSION at Virginia Ave. Park, Thelma Terry Bldg., 2200 Virginia Ave.
  • Tue., Mar. 19, at 7:00 p.m., Barnes & Noble, 1201 Third Street Promenade.
  • Thur., Mar. 21, at 6:30 p.m., FAMILY DISCUSSION at Virginia Ave. Park, Thelma Terry Bldg., 2200 Virginia Ave.
  • Sat., Mar. 23, at 11:00 a.m., Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

 

The Santa Monica Public Library and all City of Santa Monica facilities are wheelchair accessible. For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to the event.  For more information, call the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600 or visit smpl.org.

 

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