R. J. Palacio

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Palacio in 2019

R. J. Palacio (born July 13, 1963) is an American author and graphic designer.


  • Little did I know — I mean the "choose kind" quote was not mine. It's one that I heard a couple years ago, by [author and motivational speaker] Wayne Dyer, and I put it in there because I think it's such a beautiful quote, and it's so true. And it's something that really resonates with kids, because they kind of get it right away. You know, sometimes because especially at that age, you're in an argument with a friend and you know you're right, [but] you need reminding that ultimately the important thing is to choose to be kind, not choose to be right.
  • Given a chance, most children will do the right thing. I was hoping to make them aware that sometimes all it takes is a nice word to really make someone else’s day. Consequently, a thoughtless remark can really hurt someone’s feelings.
  • If you tell stories about a really cool kid that you can relate to, and then you hear about kids being mean to that kid, then you feel what it is like to walk in his shoes. And you think, that is not right. I think the best way to write is to want to build empathy for your characters. You want the readers to feel the things they are feeling.

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