365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts

365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts

4.2 22
by R. J. Palacio

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Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder—the book that inspired the Choose Kind movementand have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary



Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder—the book that inspired the Choose Kind movementand have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.

In Wonder, readers were introduced to memorable English teacher Mr. Browne and his love of precepts. This companion book features conversations between Mr. Browne and Auggie, Julian, Summer, Jack Will, and others, giving readers a special peek at their lives after Wonder ends. Mr. Browne's essays and correspondence are rounded out by a precept for each day of the year—drawn from popular songs to children’s books to inscriptions on Egyptian tombstones to fortune cookies. His selections celebrate the goodness of human beings, the strength of people’s hearts, and the power of people’s wills.

There’s something for everyone here, with words of wisdom from such noteworthy people as Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Confucius, Goethe, Sappho—and over 100 readers of Wonder who sent R. J. Palacio their own precepts.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Readers of R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder were enchanted by August's wise fifth grade English teacher Mr. Browne. In this new book, Mr. Browne and his favorite precepts come to the fore. In fact, this gentle mentor dispenses a full year of wisdom, 365 days of precepts drawn from books, songs, fortune cookies, walls and other illuminating places. One of those books that will always be fondly remembered.

Kirkus Reviews
Thomas Browne, fifth-grade teacher from Palacio's best-selling Wonder (2012), returns in a companion volume offering a collection of inspiring precepts. Precepts are "words to live by, to elevate the soul, that celebrate the goodness in people," and Mr. Browne uses them to teach such classical virtues as wisdom, justice, courage and temperance. He believes his students are still kids, "so why should we let you roam wild in the uncharted territory of middle school without just a little bit of guidance?" At the beginning of each month, Mr. Browne writes a new precept on the board, students copy it in their notebooks, discuss it in class, and write paragraphs and essays inspired by the precepts. This volume includes a year's worth of Mr. Browne's precepts chosen from 10 years of teaching, as well as some submitted by young people in a contest held by the author. Each precept is credited, and most take up one page; occasional variations in background and typeface keep the visual presentation moderately interesting. Though the cumulative effect of so many inspiring words can be deadening, like being trapped in a Hallmark card shop, the intention is good, and Mr. Browne's essays at the end of each month add a much-needed adult perspective on the need to guide young people in the ways of kindness and empathy. A big collection of inspiring words that will appeal to the legions of fans awaiting more wonder in their lives. (acknowledgments, list of contributors) (Anthology. 8-12)
From the Publisher
Praise for WONDER:

#1 New York Times bestseller

School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2012

Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012

Booklist Best of Children's Books 2012

"Wonder is essentially ... a wonder. It's well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it." - Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Timesbestselling author

Slate.com, October 10, 2012:
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year."

Entertainment Weekly, February 17, 2012, The Top 10 Things We Love This Week:
"In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turner filled with characters you can't help but root for."

The New York Times, April 8, 2012:
"Rich and memorable...It's Auggie and the rest of the children who are the real heart of 'Wonder,' and Palacio captures the voices of girls and boys, fifth graders and teenagers, with equal skill."

The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2012:
"What makes R.J. Palacio's debut novel so remarkable, and so lovely, is the uncommon generosity with which she tells Auggie's story…The result is a beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.”

The Huffington Post
March 1, 2012:
 "It's in the bigger themes that Palacio's writing shines. This book is a glorious exploration of the nature of friendship, tenacity, fear, and most importantly, kindness."
January 2013: "I think every mother and father would be better for having read it. Auggie's parents -- who are never named in the book, and don't even get to narrate a chapter of their own -- are powerful examples not only of how to shelter and strengthen a child with heartbreaking facial anomalies, but also of how to be a loving advocate to any kid."

The London TimesThe Top 100 People to Watch in 2012:
"The breakout publishing sensation of 2012 will come courtesy of Palacio [and] is destined to go the way of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and then some." 

"Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us.  I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman."
Rebecca Stead, Newbery award-winning author of When You Reach Me

"It is the deceptive simplicity and honesty of the work that make Wonder so memorable. Every single character seems real and well drawn and oh-so human...This book is beautiful." - Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy

"A beautiful story of kindness and courage. There are many real and well-developed characters, and they each have their shining moments. Of course, Auggie shines the brightest." - Clare Vanderpool, Newbery award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest

"Wonder is a beautifully told story about heartache, love, and the value of human life. One comes away from it wanting to be a better person." - Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery honor-winning author of Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods

"Wonder is a shining jewel of a story that cannot help but encourage readers of all ages to do better, to be better, in how they treat others in life. I'm totally in love with this novel."  - Trudy Ludwig, anti-bullying advocate and author of My Secret BullyConfessions of a Former BullyBetter Than You, and Just Kidding

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 20, 2012:
“Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes--and hearts--to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd.”

Starred Review, Booklist, February 1, 2012:
“Palacio makes it feel not only effortless but downright graceful, and by the stand-up-and-cheer conclusion, readers will be doing just that, and feeling as if they are part of this troubled but ultimately warm-hearted community.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 1, 2012:
"Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters...A well-written, thought-provoking book."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2011:
“A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.”

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This book picks up at the end of Wonder, an award-winning and bestselling book in 2012, and highlights Mr. Browne and his “precepts” (words/phrases to live by). Used in Wonder to get the 5th grade students to think about what they believed and how they put their thoughts into action, this book contains a year’s worth of quotes to inspire and ignite the imagination of anyone reading them. Each month begins with a two to four page narrative from Mr. Browne on his own memories of some specific or topic or a narrative that includes emails from the students he had during the year August was in his 5th grade classroom. These narratives help focus the reader on the nature of the precepts in that section. For example, January focuses on wonder and knowing oneself through life experiences and notes quotes from Roald Dahl and Popeye to Kahlil Gibran and Carl Sagan. July focuses on how we determine what makes us successful human beings: love, money, happiness? As an educator, I love this book because it puts together so many wonderful quotes from a diverse group of human beings; as a parent, I love the gentle tone Mr. Browne has as he illuminates each section with wisdom and humor. This is a great choice for any library; I am also thinking that it would be a wonderful graduation present from middle school or high school simply because it has so many ideas for any person to ponder. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 9 up.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

My father’s name was Thomas Browne. And his father’s name was Thomas Browne. That’s why my name is Thomas Browne. I didn’t know until I was a college senior that there was a far more illustrious Thomas Browne, who had lived in England in the seventeenth century. Sir Thomas Browne was a gifted author, a student of the natural world, a scientist, a scholar, and an outspoken supporter of tolerance at a time when intolerance was the norm. In short, I couldn’t have asked for a better namesake.
I started reading a lot of Sir Thomas Browne’s works in college, including Enquiries into Very many received Tenets, and commonly presumed Truths, a book that set out to debunk the prevalent false beliefs of the day, and Religio Medici, a work that contained a number of religious inquiries that were considered highly unorthodox at the time. It was while reading the latter that I came across this wonderful line:
We carry within us the wonders we seek around us.
The beauty and power of that line stopped me cold, for some reason. Maybe it was exactly what I needed to hear at that particular moment in my life, a time when I was racked with indecision about whether the career I had chosen for myself—teaching—was full of enough “wonder” to keep me happy. I wrote the line down on a little slip of paper and taped it onto my wall, where it remained until I graduated. I took it with me to graduate school. I traveled with the Peace Corps and carried it in my wallet. My wife had it laminated and framed for me when we got married, and it now hangs in the foyer of our apartment in the Bronx.
It was the first of many precepts in my life, which I began collecting in a scrapbook. Lines from books I’ve read. Fortune cookies. Hallmark card homilies. I even wrote down the Nike ad line “Just do it!” because I thought it was the perfect directive for me. You can draw inspiration from anywhere, after all.
I first introduced precepts to my students as a student teacher. I was having a hard time getting my kids interested in the essay-writing unit—I believe I had asked them to write one hundred words on something that meant a lot to them—so I brought in the laminated Thomas Browne quote to show them something that meant a lot to me. Well, it turned out they were much more interested in exploring the meaning of the quote itself than they were in its impact on me, so I asked them to write about that instead. I was amazed at the things they came up with!
Ever since then, I’ve used precepts in my classroom. According to Merriam-Webster, a precept is “a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action.” For my students, I’ve always defined it in simpler terms: precepts are “words to live by.” Easy. At the beginning of every month, I write a new precept on the board, they copy it, and then we discuss it. At the end of the month, they write an essay about the precept. Then at the end of the year, I give out my home address and ask the kids to send me a postcard over the summer with a new precept of their own, which could be a quote from a famous person or a precept they’ve made up. The first year I did this, I remember wondering if I’d get a single precept. I was floored when, by the end of summer, every single student in each of my classes had sent one in! You can imagine my further astonishment when, the following summer, the same thing happened again. Only this time, it wasn’t only from my current class that I received postcards. I also got a handful from the previous year’s class!
I’ve been teaching for ten years. As of this writing, I have about two thousand precepts. When Mr. Tushman, the middle-school director at Beecher Prep, heard this, he suggested that I collect them and turn them into a book that I could share with the world.
I was intrigued by the idea, for sure, but where to start? How to choose what precepts to include? I decided I would focus on themes with particular resonance for kids: kindness, strength of character, overcoming adversity, or simply doing good in the world. I like precepts that somehow elevate the soul. I chose one precept for every day of the year. My hope is that the reader of this book will begin every new day with one of these “words to live by.”
I’m thrilled to be able to share my favorite precepts here. Many are ones I’ve collected myself over the years. Some were submitted by students. All mean a lot to me. As I hope they will to you.
—Mr. Browne
We carry within us the wonders we seek around us.
–Sir Thomas Browne
Three things in human life are important:
the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
—Henry James
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
—Mark Twain
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
—Anne Frank
However long the night...
the dawn will break.
—African proverb
Just be who you want to be, not what others want to see.
Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.
—Annie Lennox
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on.
—Henry Burton

Meet the Author

R. J. PALACIO lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

From the Hardcover edition.

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365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book! I fell in love with the book Wonder the first time I read it. I recommend it to everyone I know! I just received this book, and it is great. What a special book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonder is a good book! I got it for my class and everyone is reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book wonder is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The I am Auggie Pullman quote is for kids who have facial disabilities like August.I know a person like August Pullman and Im not ashamed.Go on Youtube and search up I am Auggie Pullman.I am not afraid to say that i love Auggie Pullman or kids like him.If you agree or have a kind heart then post this on 5 other books.I KNOW A PERSON AND I HELPED THEM SAY IAM AUGGIE PULLMAN?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Auther, Your books are sooooo WONDERFUL that I wanna re-read them. I LOVE the book you wrote called Wonder. I think ALL of your books are great. Some even tought leasons, which were helpful to me and others. You really inspired me. & ***So keep up the GREAT work and GOOD LUCK on writing other books.*** =D ~Liv.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would say yes. :) ~Val
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book worth the $10?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The nook? won't let you get the free sample, as peoples' overviews listed before me. It's RIDICULOUS! You want to know what the book is like, but B&N won't let you have a sample and you don't want to buy the book for $10! Ridiculous, just ridiculous. (Everybody who reads this is going to think that I love the word ridiculous. Now that I think abou it, it feels good to say it in my head.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book didn't release yet on the nook but u can go to ur local library and get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It inspired me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book says you can free sample but it wont let me free sample it. On the other hand,i really want to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
an interesting book. i love reading all the quotes. wonder is the story, and this is just a sort of addition to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait to t Read it ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its just stupid quotes by random people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never read this book though the stars are for wonder