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Cybils books awards -- two with home school kids now going to ps


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Yesterday, the winners of the 2012 Cybils awards was announced. See the list of winners here. The CYBILS are awards given by book bloggers (panelists are parents, teachers, librarians, etc) to the best books published in the past year based on merit, illustration (for the picture books), and kid lit appeal.


I noticed that two of the winners -- WONDER (middle grade fiction) and FRIENDS WITH BOYS (graphic novel) -- have main characters that were home schooled and are attending public school for the first time. Have any of you other home schooling parents read them? How do they approach homeschooling (positive or negative)? With all the buzz surrounding WONDER, I was intending to read it myself at some point but haven't yet. I'm just curious what you all thought of them if you have read them and how they portrayed homeschooling.




(In the interest of full disclosure, I was a panelist to help determine the seven finalists for the fiction picture books this year and last year.)

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I read Wonder. I would say it’s not negative towards homeschooling although it’s not really pro-homeschooling. The boy (Auggie) in the book is born with a horrific disfiguring facial malformation. He has to undergo multiple surgeries both for cosmetic purposes and he also has a complicated medical history. He’s been homeschooled because of being medically fragile and also because he is so disfigured. You never really get the impression that homeschooling is something the family wanted to do for reasons other than that they were forced into it because of his condition. There is one comment by the Mom about putting him in school because she can’t do the math (and he thinks that she isn’t so good at fractions) that made me roll my eyes. But other than that it’s not really negative.


The book mainly focuses on Auggie’s adjustment to middle school but the difficulties he has are more unique to his medical condition and not to homeschooling. He isn’t portrayed as unsocialized because of the homeschooling.


For the most part, the homeschooling part of the book is very small and not really major to the plot. It would have the same basic plot if he had been in another school elsewhere and then was transferring into a new school with all his issues.

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