A Book Review & Giveaway: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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When we were eating lunch at our homeschool co-op, one of the moms suggested that we all read the book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and then go together as a group to see the movie.  Afterward, we’d all discuss the movie and the book.

I ordered the book off Amazon, and then started reading it aloud to the girls.  The girls and I were both captivated by this book and read it out loud not only at night, but also during the day as part of our regular homeschooling.  When we were done, Bookworm read the book in two days.

The story is about a 5th grade boy, August Pullman, who was born with a rare genetic condition that makes his face deformed.  His eyes are about halfway down his face, and his ears look like little cauliflowers.  Because he had so many surgeries, his mom homeschooled him through the early elementary years.

However, once he reaches 5th grade, his mom decides it is time he go to school because she can’t do fractions.  (While I loved the book, I’m going to insert an eye roll here.  That has to be the lamest take on homeschooling that I’ve ever heard!)

As to be expected, August deals with his fair share of teasing and bullying and isolation.  However, he makes some true friends, and after quite a bit of drama, attending school turns out to be good for him.

What I loved about this book is not only the heartfelt prose, but that the book alternates narrators.  When I started reading the narration by August’s older sister, Via, I had to quit reading multiple times because it brought me to tears.  See, I was several years older than my brother (just like Via is), and my brother also had a disability (cerebral palsy), which dominated the entire family as August’s did.  I could so relate to what Via was narrating.

This book is a joy to read, and I highly recommend it.  We can’t wait to see the movie!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

The Giveaway

One winner will receive the copy of Wonder that we read as a family.  I just love this book too much to have it sit on a bookshelf; I want to pass it on to another family.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a statement saying who you’d like to win for and whether or not you plan to watch the movie.

For one additional entry, and follow Mom’s Plans on Instagram and then comment here that you did so (or that you already follow on Instagram).

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents age 18+ and will end on November 25, 2017.  The winner will be chosen via random.org.

Grocery Report, November 9 – 15, 2017

So far, my plan to reduce our grocery costs is working, but I am getting a little frustrated with my new budget and Costco.  I rely quite a bit on Costco for frozen organic veggies at a great price.  I like to buy their organic frozen sliced root veggies, butternut squash, mixed veggies, and peas.  However, I find it is really hit or miss with what is available.

This week, the butternut squash was available.  I bought one bag although I didn’t really need it this week because I don’t know if it will be available next week.  I would have liked to have bought a few more just to put in the freezer, but the money was not in the budget.

Next month, I think I’ll use some of my stock up grocery money to buy a few bags of Costco veggies that are always hit or miss.

Is your Costco like this, or is it just mine?  I don’t remember this being an issue at our Chicago Costco.

Just a Few Facts About Us

Our family of 5 chooses to eat mostly organic produce and grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.  I’m Paleo, my daughter is semi-Paleo, and the rest of us are gluten free.  Everyone except my husband is dairy free.  Our goal for the last few months of the year is to spend on average $750 per month on groceries.

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Here’s what we bought over the last two weeks:

Sprout’s – $27.30

Bountiful Baskets – $27.50

I haven’t used Bountiful Baskets for years, in part because I couldn’t find their organic baskets.  Now, the organic baskets are back, so we tried one out again.  Overall, I was pleased with the quality and selection, and we even got a little treat for Thanksgiving–organic cranberries.

Natural Grocers & Sprout’s & Trader Joe’s – $54.76

Costco – $49.00

Wow, insane that 5 items can cost $49!  The really expensive product is the olive oil for $16.99.  We go through one of these a month as we have oven roasted veggies every morning for breakfast, and we also have eggs every day and use this.

The Garden

Now that our weather is cooling a bit, we finally are starting to see a little bit from our garden like a cucumber.

TOTAL: $158.56

TOTAL for November: $230.23

TOTAL for October: $1,180.05

TOTAL for September: $1,022.29

TOTAL for August: $668.85

Average for 3 months:  $957.06

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