Wonder by R.J. Palacio
You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
10-year-old August Pullman is a sweet boy. He has a loving family and a dog who adores him named Daisy. But August’s world is a small one. Born with severe facial deformities he is used to being gasped at when in public places. Small children point at him and adults quickly scurry away acting as thought there was some emergency “to do: they had forgotten about. Because of all of this, August has been home schooled.
Now as August is about to enter 5th grade his parents think that maybe trying a regular school would be a good idea. August is not so sure but agrees to give it a try under the safety net that if he wants to quit he can. As anticipated, most of Augie’s classmates can not get past his face. Augie is called names and noted are left in his locker. One boy Jack, seems to be a friend, and a girl named Summer (who likes that both of their names are seasons…) but one can never be too sure because peer pressure to agree with everyone else is a strong force in 5th grade.
In an age where bullying amongst kids is strong, can Augie survive the tests and the lessons of being the bigger person?
Why did I want to read this book? WONDER has been on my “”I want to read!” list since last year. In fact, it was on track to be my first read of 2012 and then at the last second I decided on another book and WONDER was set aside. Now, October being National Bully Prevention month, I thought I would give it a try to I downloaded it from audible.com to listen to.
Wonder is just that. A wonder. Narrated in the beginning by August, he tells of his childhood and the start of this school year. You do not get a clear idea of what his deformities exactly are – August mainly focuses on the reaction of the people around when they see him. It’s actually heart breaking to hear it from his perspective…
The next part of the book is narrated by August’s sister and then we get into the what August looks like and what that is like from an older sisters perspective. As you can imagine, at times she is protective… but at other times she is tired of the focus always being on August and what August needs as well as some of the comments made in school.
As the book goes on, the narration changes to August’s new friends in school and what it was like to hang out with August. The narration changes are actually smart and witty. It is interesting to hear the “other sides” of what is happening.
Wonder is a story of triumph over tragedy – it’s about kids acting as kids do, parents trying to hang on and make things right and learning to just be yourself and to heck with the rest. Wonder is a book that will speak to kids as well as adults.