Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a craniofacial abnormality which required many surgical procedures. He was home-schooled until fifth grade when he entered a private school. Auggie has to deal with so much more than just being new. Can the people around him see past his appearance and appreciate who he is? The film adaptation of this novel will be released in November and stars Julia Roberts and Own Wilson as Auggie’s parents. This is an appropriate read for fifth graders about a fifth grader.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This remarkable memoir reveals the brilliance and destruction of the Walls family. The children learned at an early age to take care of themselves and each other, despite persistent empty promises from their parents. The book is accessible and compelling, appropriate for both middle and high school students. A film adaptation released in August 2017 is exceptionally well done, capturing the lasting impact of childhood trauma on the author. Woody Harrelson is particularly talented as Rex Walls, Jeannette’s lovable scoundrel of a father.