For the 11th installment of the community reading program Santa Monica Reads, the city librarian has selected R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder,” which follows a 10-year-old boy with a congenital face deformity who attends a public school for the first time and learns how to navigate the challenging terrain of his peers’ alternately cruel and kind reactions to his appearance.

“‘Wonder’ is a universal story that everyone can relate to and is sure to provoke discussion between readers of every age,” read a statement released by the library on Monday. “In a world where bullying and ruthless competition are too prevalent, ‘Wonder’ challenges us to look past the surface and choose kindness in our interactions with others.”

Produced by the Santa Monica Public Library since 2003, Santa Monica Reads invites everyone to read and talk about the same novel in discussions and special events held around the city. The program, formerly known as Santa Monica Citywide Reads, has been re-branded this time around.

The 11th season of Santa Monica Reads is planned for February and March of next year. In addition to several free public book discussion groups led by volunteer facilitators and held in libraries, bookstores, coffeehouses, and other Santa Monica venues, the series will include an appearance by the author, film screenings, panel discussions and other complementary special events.

For more information, visit or call (310) 458-8600.

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