On Wednesday, October 2, the sixth grade welcomed author R.J. Palacio to the library as part of the Middle School Author Series. Palacio, author of Wonder, a wildly popular novel (published in over 50 languages and made into a major motion picture), was here to discuss her just-published graphic novel White Bird.
Each student received a copy of the title earlier in the morning and many had already finished it by the time Palacio spoke just a few hours later. White Bird tells the story of Sara, a young Jewish girl who lived in a Nazi-occuped French village during Word War II. Sara’s life was saved by a classmate, a boy named Julian, who was shunned by his peers. Sara grew up to be the grandmother of a boy named Julian, a key character in Wonder. White Bird is a terrifying story, but also a story filled with acts of bravery and kindness.
Palacio explained to the students she was inspired to write White Bird after learning that there were few middle grade titles that addressed the realities of the Holocaust. She noted that the popularity of Wonder had provided her with a worldwide platform and she wanted to use it to fight hate and promote kindness—her ultimate goal with White Bird.