Wonder Writer R.J. Palacio Got the Idea for Her New Movie From Her Kid

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This back-to-school season, Gap Kids is celebrating the return to classrooms with a new campaign about confidence, self-care, and acceptance among students (oh yeah, and a new line of clothing!). The "Forward With" campaign features a series of short videos starring inspiring community leaders who have made a major difference in kids’ lives. 

At top, InStyle premieres the latest and final short film, Forward with Kindness, a mini-documentary about how Wonder, the upcoming movie starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay and based on the best-selling book by Raquel Palacio, came to be. Wonder, in theaters Nov. 17, tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a child born with severe facial differences, and how his family navigates challenges like bullying, self-image, and individuality.

Dale Robinette

RELATED: The Trailer for Jacob Tremblay’s Movie Wonder Will Make You Sob

Palacio opened up about the exact moment when the idea for this narrative hit her as well as how blown away she was by Tremblay's talent. “Even thought he was maybe the youngest of the kids, he was still a professional actor showing them the ropes of being on camera," she said of the 10-year-old wunderkind.

The Gap campaign, she said, was an opportunity to expand on her book’s messages of tolerance and kindness—and a chance to explore the self-expression involved in getting dressed every morning. “Extending the idea of dressing beyond clothing to traits and behaviors that lead to a child’s success is a celebration of the progress we’ve made as human beings."

Watch Palacio describe the very moment Wonder came to her in the video above. 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[MUSIC] I'd always wanted to be a writer. I'd always been writing my entire life. I don't know, it was something about that situation having been so close to that little girl who had a very significant cranial facial difference. [MUSIC] At the time I didn't know exactly how to respond to that because I knew that The moment my little boy look up and saw her I really couldn't count on what he will do. It was that situation that caught me thinking of what it most be like to have to face a world everyday that doesn't quite now how to face your back, and I started to write on that very night. Is a book about kindness ultimately I honestly didn't think that. More than a handful of people would ever read it. And it's grown to this best seller than I never would have anticipated. And now it's being made into a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Nelson and Jacob Tremblay. And because of this film, this tiny little idea that I wanted to spread, to spread even more reaching new people all around the world. I'm just a Mom who wrote a book [MUSIC] With the idea that kindness is the answer to everything. Wanting children to understand the impact that one kind gesture have on another person. That they have the power to really change someone's day, maybe even change someone's life with a little bit of kindness.
 
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