Reading Club: Children’s Book (ages 10–12) | Wonder - Εικόνα

In October, the SNFCC is launching a new Children’s Book Club for young booklovers aged 10 to 12, facilitated by author Angeliki Darlasi. Angeliki Darlasi is a writer of prose and theatrical plays, while she has also engaged with television and cinema. Among her awarded works are: The Boy in the Royal Box, Badboy, When We Hid an Angel, and Dream Guardians.

The book that will be discussed in this month's meeting is R. J. Palacio's Wonder.

On Saturday, October 10, our young readers will meet to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages. 

The book

Many children love school. Others, not at all. If you asked Auggie, he wouldn’t know what to tell you because, although he is ten years old, he has never been to school, having been home-schooled by his mother for all the previous years. But Auggie is now about to go to school for the very first time, indeed without even wearing his astronaut helmet which he always has on when out of his house. Despite his hesitations, Auggie seems ready to face this new challenge. But are his fellow students ready to face him without his helmet on? You see, Auggie has a different face. A face that has forced Auggie to have undergone 27 operations thus far. So, how easy is it to be accepted when you are so different? Is outer appearance really that important? How can you teach bullies and wimps a lesson? Or does in fact Auggie and those who accept him possess some… superpower?

Let’s read this wonderful book together and attempt to answer and discuss these and many more questions and concerns that will arise from it—and perhaps eventually get to the wonder of it.

The author

R. J. Palacio was born in 1963 in New York City. Her parents were immigrants from Colombia. She studied art, design and illustration at the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan, spending her junior year at The American University in Paris. For a while she travelled around Europe before returning to New York. For several years, she worked as an illustrator, designing hundreds of book covers for books of well-known authors. At the same time, she also began to illustrate children’s books, including some of her own. For nearly twenty years, she would write her books at night, after she would have finished her work as a cover designer. She was inspired to write the book Wonder by a real-life incident, which she and her children experienced and which she incorporated in the book’s story. The book became a great commercial success, selling 1 million copies in the US alone. It won several awards, was translated into several languages, and adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. In the States, her book inspired a dynamic movement against bullying, under the slogan #choosekind.


The facilitator

A writer of literature for children and young adults, playwright and teacher of creative writing and theater. 

Works and books of hers have been translated into English, Turkish, Korean, Spanish, and French. Her books have been adapted for theater (most recently, The Boy in the Royal Box, by the National Theater of Greece, 2021-2022) and puppetry performances, while some are in the pre-production stage to be adapted into films (on screenplays by the author herself), in Greece and abroad.

She has participated as co-author in productions of the State Theaters of Karlsruhe and Uppsala and the National Theater of Luxembourg (2021 & 2022), and the Union des Théâtres del'Europe (2018). Several plays of hers have been staged in Athens: Lighthouse–SNFCC, Athens Concert Hall, Art Theatre Readers’ Theatre Festival, Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, Alkmini Theater, Amore Theater–stage B, et al. She has been repeatedly awarded and distinguished for her work (both prose and theatre). 

Since 2006, she has been teaching Creative Writing and/or Theater to adults and children-teenagers, working with both public and private organizations (e.g. The Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Peloponnese, public and private post-secondary vocational schools, Metaichmio Publications, etc.). She is a motivational speaker and facilitator of activities for children and adolescents (creative writing, theater, arts and education, love of reading, etc.).
She holds degrees from the Athens University Department of Theatre Studies and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA in Performance Studies).

Activities for children before the Book Club meeting

A few things that you may want to think and take notes about before our meeting, so we can share and discuss them when we meet:

  • Auggie loves the series of Star Wars movies, from which he seems to be drawing inspiration and courage. What role do you think the arts can play in our lives? Can you think of an example similar to Auggie’s that you can share with us? E.g., a favorite movie, or song, or book that inspires you and makes you feel good? 
  • Sometimes, unfortunate or unpleasant events can be a source of inspiration. The author of the book was inspired by the following incident, which had put her in a difficult position:  While at a shopping mall with her kids, they happened to sit down next to a child with a severe facial deformity. Her three-year-old son got scared and stared to cry, and Palacio attempted to remove him from the situation so as not to upset the girl, but ended up making things worse. Can you remember a similar mishap from your life? Something either you or another member of your family has experienced, and could serve as a starting point for a story? 
  • Palacio’s book Wonder was adapted into a film. Books are often adapted for the big screen. Have you ever read a book that you liked and then also seen it as a movie? (If you want, you may choose to also see this film after reading the book.) How did you like the book and how did you like the movie? What do you think are the differences between the two? How did the book and how did the film “carry you away”? 

Saturday 29/10 | 17.30 - 19.00

Up to 22 participants | For children aged 10 to 12
Free admission with online pre-registration


Pre-registration starts on 03/10, at 12.00

To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month. (It is also useful to have it with them).

The book “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio is available in Greek by Papadopoulos Publishing.

Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult attendants who should not be away from the outdoor activity.

As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.

See also

Sunday 23/10, 17:00

Reading Club: Children’s Book (7-9 years old) | The Invisible Tonino


Sunday 20/11, 17:00

Reading Club: Children’s Book (7-9 years old) | Kafka and the Doll