Wonder by R.J. Palacio
“You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”
August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.
But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?
Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.
This was my 50th and final read of 2015. I couldn’t have asked for a better end of my reading year. This book was absolute perfection.
I think what I love most about this book is how you get to see how this little boy affects people you wouldn’t think he would. Of course Auggie’s family is always affected by Auggie and his condition, but then you get to hear from other people’s perspective, like his sister’s boyfriend, that would you think wouldn’t be as emotionally involved in Auggie as his own family is. It just goes to show you that you can never count someone out. People will come into your life, even if for just a second, and can change your life in the most tremendous ways.
I think I went through every emotion while reading this book. It’s everything from anger, annoyance, happiness, heartbreak, to joy. If you’re a reader who really empathizes with the book’s characters, you will appreciate all the feelings and emotions brought into this book.
Every child entering middle school should read this book. It teaches them, and even adults, so many lessons about being a decent human, the human condition, and compassion. R.J. Palacio doesn’t just skim emotions at the surface. She goes into the characters’ motives, and, more times than naught, confusion of why they are feeling the way they are.
I work in especial education, and I think that helped me relate to this story in a different way. The things other people see as weird in a kid, I can see how special that is in them. R.J. Palacio created a special kid in Auggie. I didn’t want to leave this world when I realized I was almost done with the book. Thankfully, there are companion novels to Wonder and I plan to read them asap.
This is a MUST READ.