R. J. Palacio
February 14, 2012
Random House Children’s Books
Hardcover, 304 pages
A copy was provided by Randomhouse Canada for review! Thank you!
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.
About The Author
R. J. PALACIO lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.
If you’ve never been on the side of teasing and bullying in school, then this book would definitely show you what it feels like to be on that side. August has a disfigurement that has caused his face to look lopsided that no amount of surgery can fix. Yet on the inside, he is just your average ten year old boy obsessed with Star Wars and playing video games. Here’s a story where people matter, and where the boy wonder is as intelligent as any adult.
I can’t help but smile at the tenacity and strength that August has. No matter what brought him down, he was right back up again. At times he felt like a punching bag, where kids would bring him down just for the fun of it. Yet August didn’t let it get to him. He knows he may look different, but just because he does, doesn’t mean he is. His whole personality is reflected in the eyes of the rest of the characters in the latter half of the novel which I enjoyed immensely. Considering there are a couple of characters, it didn’t feel confusing, it just felt real. You felt what they felt, especially in August’s point of view.
Look for a fun and light hearted read, RJ Palacio writes the truth, be kind to people, no matter what they say about you.
“Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”—August (215)
“There are always going to be jerks in the world, Auggie,” she said, looking at me. “But you really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other.”—Isabel (279)
“If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place.”—Mr. Tushman (301)