Betty-Ann's Reviews > Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
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Jun 03, 12

Read in May, 2012

Liz showed us the book trailer for Wonder in class and I immediately moved it way up on my reading list. Then I went to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale the second time and bought it for myself. One quote from the book trailer burned itself into my consciousness: “You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.” Wonder is the story of August (or Auggie). He is a 10 year old boy who has been born with severe facial deformities. Because of extensive surgeries, he has been homeschooled all his life but now he will be starting 5th grade in a regular school. The book is the story of how he, his family and new friends cope with life in this new situation. How do others treat him? Will people see beyond his weird, scary face and instead see him as he really is, inside?
I just LOVED this book for lots of reasons. I loved how the author wrote from various points of view. You have the opportunity to get into the head of August, friends Miranda, Jack, Summer, and sister Via. Each person has a unique relationship with August and a new insight into his life. I also really loved how the author deals with the themes of acceptance, especially of people that are different than you; the value of each and every human being, regardless of ability. August is a young man of great ability but his facial deformity makes people think he is stupid, incapable of learning, of being human. The book this reminds me of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. From Amazon’s description: “Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy.” This is another powerful book about the courage of those with disabilities and how we need to look beyond the outer layer of people and instead, focus on the inner person.

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