Wonder / R. J. Palacio

Title: Wonder

Author: R. J. Palacio

Genre: Middlegrade, Realistic Fiction

Publisher: Knopf, February 14th 2012

Pages: 316

Synopsis: August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a11387515.jpg
facial deformity that prevented him frogoing 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 a middle grade novel that left me both heartbroken and uplifted. It follows the story of young August, a boy with severe face abnormalities that set him greatly apart from anyone with a “normal” physical appearance. Auggie has been home schooled his whole life, up until now. And fifth grade has never seemed more impossible.

From page one, I felt myself rooting for August. I cheered for him in his highest moments and cried with him at his lowest. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a middle grade novel with such a wholesome character. R.J. Palacio has created a little boy who simply captures your heart. Auggie felt so real, it was like reading the story and struggles of someone I know.

One aspect I really liked about Wonder was the shifting points of view. I wasn’t expecting to get this kind of dimension in the novel, but it did nothing but add to the already touching story. I absolutely loved the different voices that R.J. Palacio included. Each character was clearly individual, with their own goals and weaknesses. This made the story much more real to me.

I’m so glad picked this book up. The issue of bullying and the idea of spreading kindness is something that every young person should learn about, and this novel covers it in such a way that steals your heart and doesn’t let it go until the very last page. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age group, especially those who are a fan of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl.



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