As you well know I am completely taken with Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Not only is the story fantastic and hopeful, but it weaves in all of these little song lyrics and book references that add another layer to the plot. For fun, I pulled all the mentioned books and list them here, just in case you find yourself in need of more reading!
Mr. Tushmen, principal of Beecher Prep is impressed that Auggie has already read Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke.
Auggie thinks the Plague game that the other kids are playing is like the Cheese Touch from Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
Via mentions that Miranda would talk to Auggie about the different books he was reading, like Bone by Jeff Smith.
Auggie and his mom are reading The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien before bed at the beginning of the book, when Auggie admits that he likes his parents to tuck him in, even though it's a little childish.
Auggie tells him mom that he would like to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by himself before he goes to sleep one night, just before his nature adventure, then he also reads the book while on the trip.
Via is a grown-up and able to take the subway by herself because she reads War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. She really is an adult because she actually likes it!
Mentioned in Mr. Browne's English class:
When not writing precepts, it looks like Mr. Browne's students will be reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeliene L'Engle and Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman.
The high school play fiasco:
After Miranda convinces the play director Mr. Davenport to toss The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, so he chooses the classic Our Town by Thornton Wilder and Via steals the show.
Quoted by Mr. Tushman in his graduation address:
Mr. Tushman forsakes Peter Pan in favor of a lesser known J. M. Barrie book, The Little White Bird, and he also quotes Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan to express his feelings about this eventful school year.
Mentioned at random:
Finally, the author chooses a passage from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery to open the section told by Jack and then uses a passage from Hamlet by William Shakespeare to open a section by Auggie. These little notes give hints about the character and what lies ahead.
Now that you have this list, use it with a reader. Why do you think the author chose these books? What do the selected passages add to the story? What books would you recommend to Auggie and his friends?
I always love when I read a book about a character that loves to read. It makes me feel like I can get to know them even more.