myFace and Random House Children’s Books Celebrate 10 Years of WONDER

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New York, NY (February 14, 2022) — Over the past ten years, since its original publication on February 14, 2012, R.J. Palacio’s #1 New York Times bestselling book WONDER has taught readers of all ages the power of empathy, compassion, and “choosing kind.” This inspirational story has been embraced by millions of children and adults around the world – in schools, bookstores, communities, and organizations – including myFace, a leading nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals and families with craniofacial conditions just like the hero from Palacio’s book, Auggie Pullman. myFace recognized the power of Palacio’s story to change the way people think about differences, and as a result, launched the myFace Wonder Project in 2015. This program brings Palacio’s message into schools nationwide, and has reached over 60,000 students in the U.S. to date.

Today, myFace and Random House Children’s Books are pleased to announce a new partnership that will expand the reach of this school program for the 2021-2022 academic year, educating students in primary schools on the importance of celebrating uniqueness, being an upstander, and always choosing to be kind, with a variety of resources and activities. Participating schools receive a virtual assembly led by Dina Zuckerberg, myFace Director of Family Programs, featuring a program that encourages students to consider how individual decisions impact others, and how their own choices can help shape society.

The program focuses on the study and acceptance of differences – particularly facial differences – through thought-provoking classroommaterials (such as “Choose Kindness” activity sheets, lesson plans, morning announcements, and “Upstander” Pledge Cards), and interactive teaching strategies to build students’ understanding of different perspectives and critical reading and thinking skills. A key professional development aspect of the project involves helping teachers create classroom environments that allow for the safe discussion of sensitive issues such as prejudice and bullying. Students walk away with a new perspective and ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and a commitment to “choosing kind!”

“With students across the country reading WONDER, we were inspired to bring the myFace Wonder Project to schools to teach about differences, kindness andbeing an upstander,” says myFace Director of Family Programs, Dina Zuckerberg. “Through sharing my story of growing up with a facial difference and the inspirational stories of others, we bring to life the book’s central themes of acceptance and inclusion in real, meaningful, and teachable ways.”

Beau, a 5th Grader at Green Vale Elementary School in Old Brookville, NY, shares:

“Thank you so much for your informative presentation and for sharing your experience with us and teaching us about craniofacial differences. Our class has signed a pledge to ‘Choose Kind.’ We will stick to our word and we will not be bystanders, but upstanders. I love what you are doing there at myFace and how you are helping other people with facial differences.”

In celebration of the book’s forthcoming tenth anniversary, the WONDER: ILLUSTRATED EDITION will be released on February 15, 2022 from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. This beautiful color illustrated edition includes over twenty-five pieces of original art from Tad Carpenter, the artist behind the original cover. The book also includes an essay from R.J. Palacio reflecting on ten years of WONDER as well as an introduction by myFace Director of Family Programs, Dina Zuckerberg.

Given that a child is born in the United States with a craniofacial difference every hour, and the faces of another 100,000 individuals are disfigured through accident or disease, the themes in WONDER ring just as true today as they did 10 years ago.

To learn more about how you can bring the myFace Wonder Project to your community or school, please visit

For a deeper look into the impact WONDER has had on the craniofacial community in the past decade, listen to “Celebrating 10 Years of Wonder,” a recent episode of the myFace, myStory: Voices from the Craniofacial Community podcast series, which was broadcasted on January 19, 2022. In the program, host Dina Zuckerberg, myFace Director of Family Programs, is joined by R.J. Palacio, myFace Trustee Sondra Neuschotz (who was born with a cleft lip and whose children were also born with cleft lip and palate), and myFace Wonder Project participant, educator Mary Butters, to share what the book has meant to each of them. To learn more, visit


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