“Here’s what I think: the only reason I’m not ordinary is because no one else sees me that way.” These are the wise words of 10-year-old August Pullman, and they are so true! Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the story of August Pullman, who was born with a severe facial defect. He was homeschooled all this life, until fifth grade rolled around, and August and his family decided to try a traditional school. Unfortunately, it took a while for Auggie to be accepted among the students of Beecher Prep. Not everyone at the school was comfortable with his face, and some even thought that they would become ‘infected’ if they touched him. Eventually, he does make friends that don’t care about what he looks like, but it is a good lesson to us to treat others how we want to be treated, and to not judge people by what they look like on the outside. It’s actually quite crazy how, for middle schoolers and even adults, we still to this day have problems with accepting new people into our everyday lives. This was a very good reminder to me, and maybe it will be for you too.
Wonder is probably on my top 10 books list, just because of its simple and relatable themes, and of course the awesome story. One of my favorite parts is when Auggie meets one of his best friends, Jack Will. Jack is considered one of the ‘cool’ kids at Beecher Prep, but what I loved is that even with that popularity, Jack still reached out to August. The boys developed a friendship that was not based on what Auggie looked like on the outside, but on the good qualities of the both of them.
Another great thing about Wonder is that it is appropriate for a wide range of audiences. Although there is some bullying in the book, most of the characters are pretty young, but the book also appeals to adults as well. That being said, I would recommend this book to readers ages nine and up, and I strongly encourage adults to read this book along with kids. It might be a fun partner or group read. Either way I encourage you to read this book, whether it is by yourself or in a group!
In addition to Wonder, R.J. Palacio has written two other books, one called Julian (a sequel to Wonder), and 365 Days of Wonder, which is a book of compiled well-known quotes or ‘precepts’, with one for each day. I happen to own 365 Days of Wonder and Wonder, and I am looking forward to getting the chance to read Julian.
If you liked Wonder, you might also enjoy:
- Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper