Elizabeth K.'s Reviews > Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
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's review
Apr 30, 12

bookshelves: 2012-new-reads
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Betsy Sundquist
Read in April, 2012

This was just as good as Betsy said it was. I predict it will get some strong Newbery consideration. Told from multiple viewpoints, it's the story of August, a student entering the fifth grade. Auggie's previously been homeschooled due to a host of medical issues related to a severe facial abnormality. So it's the trauma of being brand new to school, added to the challenge of being remarkably physically different than his classmates.

The general plot is pretty much the one you expect from the premise of the book -- he has trials and tribulations, and the other kids have various reactions that he has to navigate. But overall, this is just QUALITY writing for middle readers (it's not YA). Almost all of the different voices add something to the story, and the characters and their situations are reasonably complex and the emotions feel very real, even given the somewhat boilerplate nature of the story arc.

A small mention that it's set in New York City, and it feels very believable and supports the plot nicely - but doesn't, I think, make things so New York-centric that other readers will be put off. It reminded me a little of When You Reach Me in this respect (although it's not at all similar to that book in terms of theme).
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