In Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of Auggie, a tough, sweet, 10-year-old boy, who was born with distorted facial features — a "craniofacial difference" caused by an anomaly in his DNA.
Palacio tells NPR's Michele Norris that the book was inspired by a real-life encounter with her own kids six years ago. They were at an ice cream store and sat next to a little girl with a severe facial deformity. Palacio's 3-year-old son cried in fear, so the author grabbed her kids and fled. She was trying to protect the girl but also avoid her own discomfort.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Radar technology, which is used to find oil underground, has been modified to look for an even more precious resource: water. And yesterday, scientists announced their biggest find yet: an underground lake at least as large as Rhode Island, 1,000 feet below the Kenyan desert. NPR's Gregory Warner reports Kenyans are celebrating, cautiously.
With the pause button pushed on the congressional debate over Syria, the House is turning its attention back to the issue that is expected to dominate the fall: the budget.
The long-running fight over spending and the debt is back. The House was supposed to act this week to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, and leaders had hoped to avoid drama. But the vote has been delayed, and drama is brewing.
You can literally see rockets when you drive into Huntsville, Ala., also known as the "Rocket City." NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is here, along with scores of aerospace and defense contractors. The city also has one of the largest fully digital school districts: 24,000 Huntsville City Schools students use laptops or tablets instead of textbooks.
All of this partly explains the new cybersecurity class at Grissom High School. Huntsville City Schools and U.S. Army Cyber Command are developing the curriculum, which will eventually begin in middle school.
The town of King Cove, Alaska, is crowded onto a narrow spit, surrounded by ocean and isolated by rows of volcanic mountains.
It's an Aleut Native community of about a thousand people, and for roughly a third of the year, treacherous winds close its airstrip. There's no road between King Cove and Cold Bay, the nearest town with year-round air facilities. When the weather turns bad, the only way out of King Cove is a two-hour boat trip through choppy seas.
In his first semester playing football at San Diego State University, Gregory Porter severely injured his shoulder. Doctors told him his days on the field were over, but there was some good news: The school would let him keep his athletic scholarship. Suddenly without football, but with a lot of time on his hands, Porter searched for a new calling — and found it in his voice.