Wonder by R. J. Pallacio // Book Review

Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 14, 2012)
Genre: Fiction
Audience: G
Buy On: Amazon

SYNOPSIS:

Millions of people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. 

The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the upcoming, critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird  – on sale 10/1/2019!

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. 
 
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. 

MY REVIEW:

Main Characters:
August “Auggie” Pullman–young boy with face deformity
Olivia “Via” Pullman–Auggie’s sister and biggest supporter
Julian–the school bully
Jack–a classmate who befriends and stands up for Auggie
Summer–a girl classmate who befriends Auggie and could care less about what he looks like
Charlotte–a classmate who does not mind what Auggie looks like but doesn’t try to befriend him

Wonder made me feel upset and intrigued at the same time. The way many people treated Auggie just broke my heart. Not many people even bothered to give Auggie a chance. They didn’t get to know him for who he was on the inside. They just took one glance at his face and turned themselves away. The whole time I was reading the book and even afterwards as I was evaluating the story, the saying “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” kept coming to mind. In the story one of Auggie’s teachers gives the class a new precept every month and encourages the students to discover what their own precept is. Reading this book made me think that mine is that saying. 

The scene from the book that broke my heart the most was on Halloween. Auggie dressed up us ghost man complete with a full on face mask and he was so excited because he could finally be treated like a normal person and kids talked to him and touched him without shrinking away because they couldn’t see his face. It saddened me that Auggie felt like the only time he could really be himself was when his outward appearance was hidden. 

The story was told in a multiple perspective way. It was told from Auggie’s point of view as well as some of the other people who were affected by him. It takes a talented author to accomplish writing from multiple points of view without confusing the reader or making the story hard to follow. The author of Wonder brought this across expertly. She switched between each point of view so smoothly that it just added so much to the book and really gave the reader insight into how each person felt. It was interesting to see that Auggie’s appearance affected many people–not just himself. His sister, Olivia, had to go through public school with many people knowing she had a “freak” as a brother. And some classmates even refused to be friends with her because of it. Even Olivia’s boyfriend was affected by Auggie because he was shunned by some people who thought he was “infected” if he dated the “freak’s” sister. 

Each of the main characters was described to a “t”. The author really showed how each person’s life was different.

The part of the book that stood out to me the most was just the fact that it made me realize how very important it is not to judge people by what I can see of them. So much can be hidden beneath the surface and if I never let that part be shown, I can hurt someone more than anything. 

The way Wonder was ended could not have been more perfect. It was drawn to a closure clearly and precisely. However, I could picture a second book be easily added on as well. Wonder was different than books I usually read because I do not typically read middle-school age books. However, I am very glad I read Wonder because Auggie left an impact on me without even being in person. He taught me so many lessons on how I should treat people and that true greatness lies not on the outside but in the heart. Wonder gave me a new perspective on how affective judging is–in a negative light. 

Wonder is a book I recommend literally for ages 8 to 88. Readers of all ages can learn a lesson and be inspired by Auggie’s story. As Psalm 139:13-16 sayd “We are much more than our physical differences”. Let us never ever forget that.

5 thoughts on “Wonder by R. J. Pallacio // Book Review

  1. I totally get how it makes you both intrigued and upset. Not many people have Treacher Collins Syndrome so it is natural for us to be intrigued! I’m not very emotional but I cried when Julian was so rude to Auggie! I really think everyone should learn from this book! <3. You should review more books like this soon!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s