Written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally is smart enough to fool teacher after teacher in school after school. They see her as a troublemaker because it is easier for her to cause trouble then be seen as stupid. One day Mr. Daniels, a new teacher, starts teaching her, and he won’t let her escape work anymore. He discovers the secret that she has kept from so many. Letters don’t hold still for her. Ally’s secret of being dumb is finally going to come out, but through it all, she might finally realize that great minds don’t think alike.
By Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe will not talk to or include the new girl, Maya. Maya doesn’t wear new clothes or look like Chloe’s friends. One day, the teacher talks to the class about how important each act of kindness is and how it has a ripple effect into people’s lives. Chloe wants to make things right, but she never has her chance. This is a beautiful story that reminds us all that each action we take or don’t take affects those around us.
By Sharon M. Draper
Melody is not like other 5th grade students. She cannot feed herself, dress herself, or speak, but that doesn’t mean that she has nothing to offer her classmates and nothing to teach. As a result of cerebral palsy, she has not physically developed the same as her peers, and for many years, only her parents believe that she is mentally capable. With the introduction of a new Medi-Talker (that Melody names Elvira), Melody begins to communicate and show the world her amazing abilities. I highly recommend this book for any 5th-8th graders, as it tackles issues of friendship, fitting in, differences, and struggles beautifully.
By R. J. Palacio
August Pullman, Auggie to his family and friends, was born with a genetic disorder caused him to be physically disfigured. Previously homeschooled, Auggie starts school at Beecher Prep, and Wonder is the story of his first year there. This rich story provides the grounds for authentic discussions about friendship, bullying, acceptance, forgiveness, and the strength of the human spirit. If you enjoyed Wonder already, look into The Julian Chapter or Pluto.