Auggie feels ordinary on the inside, and he really does want to be just like everyone else. Unfortunately, no one else sees him this way. To others he is an alien, zombie, weirdo, or extremely special and wonderful. Auggie was born with some genetic disorders that make his appearance shocking to most people. He gets a lot of stares and strange looks, as well as comments that pierce through his skin. Up until he is ten years old he has to have so many surgeries that he is homeschooled. Everything is about to change. Fifth grade is the year that Auggie will start attending a local private school, and he is not happy that his parents have decided this without his input. He doesn’t want to go because he knows how the other kids will react to him, but another part of him wants to meet other kids and make friends. After touring the school with a group of hand selected students Auggie’s first day is supposed to be better. Unfortunately, one of the boys, Julian, is cruel to Auggie and tries to get others to treat him badly. He does the typical name calling, rumor spreading, and anything else he can think of to make the new kid the butt of all jokes. Of course, the other kids don’t actually need any more reasons to treat him badly. Luckily, Auggie knows something about how to deal with mean people and the rest he learns along the way. Sadly, the school year is going to be filled with some pretty tough times for him, especially when he overhears a conversation that changes everything. Will Auggie be able to make the other kids see him for who he is inside? Will he make it through 5th grade with any friends? Is he going to wish he never attended school? You must read this fantastic story to see for yourself how it all ends up for Auggie and friends.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio was one of the best books I have ever read. I instantly liked the main character, Auggie, and my heart went out to him. Getting to know him was fun because he is just like a lot of my friends and I love his sense of humor. Auggie’s story made me think about how the kids at my school would treat someone who looked so different from everyone else. The book was broken into sections and we got to learn about Auggie’s fifth grade experience through the eyes of some of the other characters. At first I thought I wouldn’t like this, but it actually turned out to be quite fascinating. I liked the change in perspective and it really made me think about how everyone close to him felt. If the author had only told the story from Auggie’s point of view then I really wouldn’t have been able to see the whole picture. I think anyone from 4th grade and up should read this remarkable book. If everyone read it they would know how important it is to be kinder than necessary. I know, if starting today, we were all a little kinder- the world would be a better place for everyone. When you read this book you will laugh out loud and you will cry. You will discover what it means to be a better person and you will find out some universal truths. You will learn how to deal with the mean people you encounter. One thing is for sure- you will not be the same person when you get to the end of the book. You will be better!
Has anyone else read Wonder? Or have you read another book by R.J. Palacio? I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.