Wonder By R. J. Palacio
Published February 14th 2012 By Knopf
Summary: I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
Wonder is one of those books that will stay with you forever.
I read Wonder in a span of 24 hours, a feat that doesn’t usually happen and I became attached after reading the first couple of pages and this never happens either. That is how strongly this book has affected me.
I fear that this book review will not do Wonder justice. Wonder is something that needs to be read and felt and its hard to share these feelings with you in a coherent manner that feels sufficient.
Wonder follows the story of a 10 year old boy named Auggie (August) as he enrolls into school for the first time. Having being homeschooled prior to this, he’s filled with worry about what will happen. Auggie is different and that leads to a yearlong run in with mean kids and unkind words.
Wonder is very character driven. The book is divided into different parts, each told from a different character’s perspective. Although I expected more of Auggie’s voice, I fell in love with the concept and seeing the same events through different eyes. It also allowed room for much character development.
Each character portrayed exceptional bravery and strength, that is beyond what you’d expect a 10 year old would face. Divorce issues, absent parents or being the sister of a boy with a birth defect. These characters were so compelling and grew into such wonderful caring children.
The story of Wonder goes beyond Auggie’s struggle. It explores the topic of bullying, acceptance and kindness amongst others. It talks about important issues and doesn’t shy away from reality (such as mean kids bullying the disabled etc) and it is done in such away that is thought provoking.
Wonder captured my heart from the start and it led to much needed self reflection of the way I treat people and how I present myself to others. To quote the book: “sometimes you don’t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone”.
Though Wonder is a middle grade book, I highly recommend everybody of all ages to pick this book up and read it. This is a book that is relevant and realistic; you will enjoy it regardless of age as the warmth of the characters will suck you straight in.