Wonder – R. J. Palacio

Wonder – R. J. Palacio

Auggie Pullman’s year is going to get a LOT different. For a kid with a pretty rare facial deformity, going to middle school is the last thing he wants to do. Told by the perspective of Auggie, his sister Via, her boyfriend, and a few of Auggie’s classmates, Wonder is a story about how hard it can be to fit in middle school—whether you’re the one who looks differently than your peers or you’re the normal kid befriending the kid that’s different. Reading about Auggie’s struggles and triumphs is both heartbreaking and heartwarming and will leave you wanting to root for any person that might not fit the “normal” mold.

Just like with Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, this was another story that hit me right in the heart. I think that Auggie’s story might even be more realistic than Melody’s, actually. Other than his facial deformity being pretty rare, he’s a normal kid whereas Melody had a special photogenic memory. This book also goes deeper into how hard it can be in middle school to fit in. As it points out, when kids are really little and ask questions about things they don’t understand, even if it is hurtful, you know they aren’t asking to be malicious. When Julian and Jack were having that horrible conversation about Auggie right in front of him (even though they didn’t know it was him) I felt like I needed to protect him and I felt hurt that that could ever happen. It really reminds you how scary bullying can be, even with kids who look “normal” on the outside. I think that all young kids need to read books like this to show them how wrong it is to bully people who are different than they are used to. I would recommend this to anyone grades four and up.

 

Read the book before the movie comes out on November 17th!

Wonder Book Cover Wonder
Wonder, #1
R. J. Palacio
Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Knopf
February 14th, 2012
Print
316

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.

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