Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Review by Lauren
Source: library copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: 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?
Review: This is a middle grade book that I’ve wanted to read for a long time, so I was excited to see that I was assigned to do so for my children’s literature class. While the book might be labeled as MG since Auggie is in the 5th grade, that doesn’t mean that adults can’t read this book and get a lot out of it. It focuses on a lot of important topics about friendship, love, and being kind to others.
I loved that the book is told in first-person point of view, mostly following Auggie because it allows you to get inside his head. You know how feels about his face and what he thinks when other people scurry past him, afraid to even touch his skin. However, the book is also in the first-person point of view of other important characters too. You get thoughts from Via (Auggie’s older sister), Jack (a classmate of Auggie’s) and more. Like I said, most of the book is Auggie’s point of view, but the entire story isn’t all about him. It’s also about the people he affects, in good and bad ways. Auggie is the sun, and the other characters are the planets who orbit him.
I do think that the ending is wrapped up nicely in a lot of ways, which is a bit unrealistic. Some of the things that happen could have occurred and the outcome probably would have been the same, but in real life, the odds of these things all happening are pretty slim. It still works though, because the whole book is a journey and a struggle for Auggie to accept himself more than anything. He has to learn how to walk with his head held high, instead of hiding beneath his hair or an old astronaut helmet. In the end, Auggie has to learn what everyone does; the world might be a scary place, but the people you love will always make things better, so keep them close.