Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, is published by Random House Children’s Books division and the recommended age for this book is 8-12, middle school, or the tween years. However, I think that anyone, male or female, of any age would love this book. I actually think that the world would be a better place if everyone read it. Wonder has many themes, but most of all it is a book about kindness.
Wonder is the story of a ten-year old boy, August Pullman, who was born with rare genetic mutations that caused his face to be severely deformed. There are no pictures but we do get descriptions, slowly, over the course of the book. In the first chapter August says “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse”.
August has an amazingly loving and wonderful family. His parents and sister are always there for him and at home he is a happy ordinary boy. However, now that August has reached 5th grade, his mother doesn’t think she is equipped to homeschool him anymore. And he is done with surgery so he doesn’t need to stay home for that. August is scared to go to school because he has seen the reactions every time somebody sees him.
Wonder takes place over the course of the school year. We see Auggie’s ups and downs, the good and bad and everything in between. In a very nice touch, August isn’t always the narrator. There are sections of the book where some of Auggie’s classmates, his sister Via and her friends narrate.
Some beautiful quotes from Wonder:
The only reason I’m not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way
When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind
I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives
This book, Wonder, supposedly for tweens, is one of the best books I have ever read. It is a beautiful feel good book and I couldn’t stop crying after I read it. I highly recommend this award-winning book to everyone. And, I definitely recommend that Wonder become part of the middle school curriculum.
See also: The Fault in our Stars – YA Book Review
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