Tuesday, February 10, 2015

365 Days of Wonder by R J Palacio

365 Days of Wonder:  Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts by R. J. Palacio is a sort of companion book for her novel, Wonder, which I read and enjoyed very much. One of the protagonist's teachers, Mr. Browne, gave the students monthly precepts that the students in the novel would discuss and eventually write a short essay about, explaining what the precept means to them.

This book is a collection of precepts, one for every day of the year.  (Unless it's a leap year, I guess, since there are only 365 days included.)

I didn't finish the book.  I was reading the precepts and I came upon one that was obviously misattributed.  On February 26th the author is lazy enough to share the following quote:
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
It took me all of five seconds to go to the Monticello website where they have a page devoted to spurious quotations attributed to Thomas Jefferson. There, I was not surprised to find the quote among the ones that Thomas Jefferson never said.

A quick look at the quote shows that this was first attributed to Jefferson in 1996 which probably explains why it sounds nothing like something an 18th century man would say.  (insert eye roll here)  The quote, in fact, makes its first appearance in 1923, quite a few years after Jefferson died and stopped writing quotable things.

I am hugely disappointed.  I don't understand why the author and publisher AND editor all were too lazy to research the proper attribution.  No doubt, many parents will happily give this book to their children. In fact, I was thinking of giving this book to a family friend who teaches and to my granddaughter.  Instead, I'll conclude this book review with an apropos meme and count my blessings that I didn't waste my time reading an entire book of potentially poorly researched quotes.


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