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Scars Like Wings

Erin Stewart Author Essay

Nothing heals people like other people.

An eight-year-old boy named Marius taught me this powerful truth. When I first met Marius more than a decade ago, I knew a fire had taken both his parents and left him severely burned. I expected to meet a victim. He had lived through unimaginable pain and dozens of surgeries. I knew his physical scars drew stares from strangers and cruel teasing from peers. How could he be anything but angry?

Instead, I met a smiling, vibrant eight-year-old who wanted to show me his latest magic trick. Yes, Marius was burned. But he was also just a boy who loved card tricks and trampolines. I was immediately struck by his unwavering confidence that he was so much more than his scars, so much more than his tragedy.

It made me wonder—how does someone find this kind of strength in the face of so much pain?

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Featured Resource

White Bird Educators’ Guide

In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters found in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère, whose given name is Sara. Palacio makes her graphic-novel debut with Sara’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II, and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend. Share this story with students using this educators’ guide!

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Jackpot By Nic Stone

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she—with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan—can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

Author Spotlight

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones has worked as a librarian and a bookseller, and now turns her talents to fiction. Her first book, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, was an Indies Introduce Pick, an ALA Notable Book, an SLJ Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book. Her second book is a regency mystery called Murder, Magic, and What We Wore. You can find her at her website:, or on Twitter: @curiosityjones.