Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

August "Auggie" Pullman was born with an extreme facial deformity that has pretty much kept him separate from everyone outside his family.  He had been homeschooled, but his mother thinks it is time to enroll in regular school for the fifth grade.  It goes about as well as he feared - kids wouldn't talk to him but had plenty to say behind his back.  But he starts to win some kids over, one by one, with his funny sense of humor and the fact that he is a really really good guy at heart.  But these small victories come with set backs as well, and you cringe at the how horrible kids can be to one another, wondering if this is going to be the thing that is too much for Auggie to bear.

I have wanted to read this for such a long time, but never seemed to get around to it.  Then I visited a local high school and this book was on their summer reading list.  One student came up to me and told me how much she loved it and that she read it in one sitting! The enthusiasm she felt for this book made me request it the next day and I read it quickly after that.

I just loved Auggie and wanted to give him a big bear hug.  He is ten years old, just a boy, but faces such cruelty and nastiness that I wanted to protect him.  I wanted to make things okay for him.  I'm glad that this is on the summer reading list - it is a wonderful book and shows how important it is to see beyond the outer layer and recognize the human being within.  Everyone is different and that is good....   and while being popular may seem like the most important thing in the world - it isn't worth being mean to others in order to feel more popular.  I recommend this middle grade novel to just about everyone!

by R.J. Palacio
Knopf, 2012
313 pages
Source:  Library


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