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.
Wonder is a story that is eye – opening and inspirational, not at all like the depressing story I was expecting. It is a story about kindness and how much being nice can help someone, however small that thing is.
August is one of the strongest characters I have come across. Instead of being upset and self-conscious all the time he chooses to be just like every other ten year old boy and doesn’t let things get to him. He accepts the fact that people stare at him, that some people will be mean to him and handles it extremely well. He is smart, funny and understands more than people give him credit for.
He is babied by his parents and acts rather childish at the beginning – not immature, just holding his parents hands and needing them to put him to bed. By the end of the story he has really grown up and is much more independent and more outspoken.
His sister, Via was also very strong but in a different way. She doesn’t complain when her parents spend more time with Auggie than with her, or when her parents take him everywhere she goes. Honestly, I wouldn’t be that good or understanding. I’d have yelled at my parents a long time ago. Sure she breaks down eventually but she is still the most amazing big sister ever, constantly defending her brother.
We are also treated to chapters from Justin’s (Via’s boyfriend), Miranda’s (Via’s friend), Jack’s (Auggie’s friend) and Summer’s (Auggie’s friend) POVs. It is really interesting to see how other people see Auggie and we get to learn a little about their lives as well. The multiple POVs enhance the story as each builds on to Auggie’s tale.
This book deals with all the normal middle school issues of bullying, exclusion and homework but also the high school problems of fitting in and boyfriends. We also get glimpses into the adult world and different types of families.
While I didn’t find the story unrealistic, I think parts of it were a little far fetched and unlikely especially towards the end. The story has its up and down; scenes where you want to cry from sadness and those that make you cry from happiness.
Though I normally do not enjoy stories like these, I found Wonder extremely interesting. It gave me a perspective I never really thought about and is a book I don’t think I’ll forget. I recommend this book to everyone – young and old alike.