Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by RJ Palacio
Release Date -  February 14, 2012
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 not a book I would typically pick up myself. I am not as well versed in middle grade novels as I perhaps should be. It happened to be selected for one of my book clubs and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a novel filled with heart, warmth, and a powerful message at its core.

This is a great discussion starter book for adults and the children in their lives. It allows for discussion on a wide range of topics and provides a safe manner in which to do so. It might be easier for the children to discuss Auggie's feelings than their own. It's a great outlet and I can see why many refer to it as a book that should be mandatory classroom reading.

Auggie is a tenacious, curious, kind young boy whose voice stands out brightly within these pages. His character not only showcases the value of taking yourself outside your comfort zone, but the idea of being kind. Auggie chooses kindness and this book encourages the reader to do the same. He also allows himself to experience new things, even if they are a little scary at first. His character growth was impressive and is especially evident towards the end of the novel as the reader gets to see the payoff to all difference experiences Auggie has throughout the novel.

This novel teaches without feeling overt about it. It does so through the characters, and the things they experience. It is not just Auggie that teaches a valuable lesson, but all of the different people we meet through Auggie's adventures. This book offers multiple points of view that may, at first glance, seem unnecessary but really do add something to the overall theme of the novel. Each of the characters learns something about kindness, acceptance, or forgiveness. We also see the impact bullying has and many of the characters experience it, or have it dealt with in some way.

In Wonder, RJ Palacio has created an unforgettable character in Auggie Pullman. His story is one that will remain with you and you'll be urged to pass it on to others. It is a book that really should be made available in every middle grade classroom. Its message of acceptance is one that is always vital and remains more important than ever. It is one that I would recommend for anyone looking for a heart warming story for themselves to enjoy or to share with a middle grade reader. I predict that they'll fall a little in love with it too.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post!! Wonder was the second book that I have read that made me want to stand up and clap once I had finished it. Though upsetting at times, I thought this book was an absolute joy to read!


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