今読んでいる本 ー Wonder


You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

R.J. Palacio著Wonderの表紙に書いてある一節で、「生まれながら目立った格好なのだから、溶け込むことなんかできないんだ」という意味です。

 

まだ読んでいる途中なので、この一節が本文で意味するところは私自身後々わかってくると思うのですが、常々「多様性」を認める教育のあり方に関心があったので、いろいろと考えさせられます。友人の英語教師に勧められてこの本を購入しました。ネタばれにならない程度に簡単にご紹介します。

 

WonderはR. J. Palacioという作家が書いた小説で、生まれながらにして奇形の顔を持つ主人公の少年Augustが初めて通常学級に通うお話です。作者のR. J. Palacioについて、Wikipediaには次のように書かれています。

 

Palacio was compelled to write Wonder after her youngest son (who at the time was three years old) started crying after noticing a girl with facial birth defects was sitting beside him as they were waiting in line to buy ice cream. Palacio attempted to discreetly sit her son away from the girl so as not to upset her or the girl’s family but ended up only intensifying the situation once ice cream was spilled. Reflecting on the situation while listening to Natalie Merchant‘s song “Wonder” had her realize that the incident could teach a valuable lesson. Palacio was inspired by Merchant’s lyrics and thus began writing.

パラシオは、一番下の息子(3歳だった当時)がアイスクリームを買おうと列に並んでいた際、隣に先天的に顔の障害を盛つ女の子が座ったのを見て泣き出してしまった、ということがあり、その後『ワンダー』を書きたいという強い気持ちにかられるようになった。パラシオは、女の子と家族の気分を悪くさせないように慎重に息子を女の子から離れたところに座らせようとしたが、結局はアイスクリームがこぼれて状況がさらに悪化してしまう結果に終わった。ナタリー・マーチャントの歌の「ワンダー」を聞いていた際に、この時のことを振り返り、彼女はこの出来事がかけがえのない教訓を教えてくれていることに気がづいたのだった。歌の歌詞にも啓発され、そこで執筆を開始した。

 

物語は主人公の少年Augustの一人称の口語体で語られ、とても生き生きとした、またユーモラスな文章になっています。p8まではamazonの中身検索でも公開されているので、ぜひご覧ください。中身検索で公開されている最初の節(Ordinary)を朗読してみましたので、よかったらお聞きください。

Ordinary

I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all. I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-way thing. Here’s what I think: the only reason I’m not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.

But I’m kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don’t see the faces people make. We’ve all gotten pretty good at that sort of thing: me, Mom and Dad, Via. Actually, I take that back: Via’s not so good at it. She can get really annoyed when people do something rude. Like for instance, one time in the playground some older kids made some noises. I don’t even know that the noises were exactly because I didn’t hear them myself, but Via heard and she just started yelling at the kids. That’s the way she is. I’m not that way.

Via doesn’t see me as ordinary. She says she does, but if I were ordinary, she wouldn’t feel like she needs to protect me as much. And Mum and Dad don’t see me as ordinary, either. They see me as extraordinary. I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.

My name is August, by the way. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

From Wonder by R. J. Palacio

 

 

非常に読みやすい朗読のしがいもあるパッセージだと思いませんか。オーディオブックも発売されています。現在、世界的にベストセラーになっているようです。

 


takeondo
About takeondo 43 Articles
都内の私立学校に勤務する英語教師(英語科教諭)。学生時代に英語音声に魅了され、英語教師の道へ。とりわけ関心があるのは、英語のプロソディ(超分節音的側面)とよばれるリズム、イントネーションなど。英語朗読、英語落語にも興味があります。 Certificate of Proficiency in the Phonetics of English 2nd Class 趣味:囲碁(四段)、ランニング(ハーフ1時間30分/フル3時間40分)

2 Comments on 今読んでいる本 ー Wonder

  1. Thank you for this article! I’m so impressed. Do you mind if I share your reading with my students? I have my own private English school in Chiba and some of them are reading this book.

    • Dear Masako,

      Thank you for the comment. I have dedicated much of my time to this kind of oral reading or rodoku, partly because I want to be a better English speaker and a better English teacher. I also want to share my rodoku with many English learners because I believe it will help them in some way too. Please share it with your students. It would be my honor:-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*