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Alternative Cover Edition ISBN: 9780552565974

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

318 pages, Paperback

First published February 14, 2012

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About the author

R.J. Palacio

31 books7,240 followers
R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

Raquel J. Palacio / R. J. Palacio is a pseudonym of: Raquel Jaramillo

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 73,880 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
February 23, 2012
Wonder is one of those rare books that makes you want to hug everyone in it so tightly that they’ll have no doubt about how much you love them…and beyond that, it also makes you want to reach out and hug the whole world. It’s an upbeat, humorous, life-affirming story that deserves to be read—and it’s one that may just change its readers, too.

If you remember how terrifying it was to be a kid on a day to day basis, you’ll appreciate August’s story. 10-year-old Auggie is going to school for the first time in his life, and he has to navigate new rules, learn to interact with teachers, and figure out how to make new friends. In addition, he also has a severe facial deformity that stops strangers in their tracks, so all the usual perils of the fifth grade take on even more heightened stakes.

With the matter-of-fact wisdom that warmed Beverly Cleary’s books, this story about growing up is full of heart and humor, and written with a clear-eyed intelligence that never descends into cynicism. Auggie’s smart, funny personality will win over readers who will agonize with him over the complicated web of friendships and family even as they cheer for him as he learns some of life’s big and scary lessons.

It’s okay, I know I’m weird-looking, take a look, I don’t bite. Hey, the truth is, if a wookie started going to school all of a sudden, I’d be curious, I’d probably stare a bit! And if I was walking with Jack or Summer, I’d probably whisper to them: Hey, there’s the wookie. And if the wookie caught me saying that, he’d know I wasn’t trying to be mean. I was just pointing out the fact that he’s a wookie.

Even with a positive attitude and smart, loving parents, however, Auggie’s story is not an easy one to read, and my emotions ran wildly from sadness to hilarity to terrible anger at what happens to him. Not all kids are nice. Some kids behave one way in front of adults and another way in front of kids. Some adults are downright cruel. And just when you think life can’t possibly get any harder or more challenging, sometimes it does.

Although the book is primarily told from Auggie’s perspective, it was a surprise to me when it switched to a few other points of view. With a total of six different voices, I would normally say this is far too many, but in this particular case every person offered an insight into August’s beautiful personality and amazing life in a way that would be impossible to otherwise know. Reading about Auggie’s 27 surgeries, rejoicing at his vibrant inner life, hurting for him when he felt lonely or misunderstood, and seeing his life from various different perspectives, it’s impossible not to be moved by his story. And how can you not love a boy who understands that sometimes his mom might need his precious teddy bear more than he does?

Not entirely random side note:

Tears were streaming down my face as I finished this book—and the funny thing is, they were primarily tears of joy. Wonder is written with the kind of sensitivity and insight that I had hoped for when I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and it went the extra mile to be an uplifting story that made me want to embrace life and the people in it, too. I also very much appreciate that this middle grade book is written for its intended age group, not just a book for adults in the guise of a children’s book, even though it’s certainly one that can be enjoyed by readers of any age.

“There are always going to be jerks in the world, Auggie,” she said, looking at me. “But I really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other.”

A story like this comes along just a few times in a lifetime, and I fervently hope that readers will find their way to it. This short book that doesn’t waste a single page in squeezing your emotions so tightly you feel like you can't breathe, but when they're finally released, you may find that your heart is full of even more empathy, compassion, and love than you thought possible. We expect to be surprised by cruelty, but how wonderful it is to also be surprised by kindness.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

About the Inspiration Behind the Story

The ice cream incident in this story actually happened, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Learn about the surprising inspiration behind this story on the RJ Palcio's website. She's definitely an author to watch.
Profile Image for Rick Riordan.
Author 494 books402k followers
December 4, 2013
Ye gods, what a wonderful book! I don't read a lot of realistic middle grade fiction. I tend to gravitate toward fantasy. But this is probably the best such book I've read since Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

The main character August (Auggie) Pullman is a ten-year-old boy with severe facial abnormalities. Little kids scream when they see him. Older kids make fun of him and call him a freak. Auggie is home-schooled through grade four, but for middle school his parents decide to send him to a private school, Beecher Prep, in New York City. Wonder is the story of his fifth grade year, told partly from Auggie's perspective, and partly from the other kids in his life -- his sister Via, her oldest friend Miranda, Via's boyfriend Justin, and Jack and Summer, Auggie's new friends at Beecher Prep. Each narrator has a distinct, completely believable voice. Palacio writes with just the right balance of humor and pathos, making each character both flawed and sympathetic. She "gets" kids -- how they think, how they talk, how they have the capacity to be both horribly mean and incredibly brave and kind. I recognize these characters from my years of teaching middle school, and I'm sure young readers will recognize them too. The book rings with authenticity. The short chapters and shifting narrative make this a quick, easy read. It's a feel-good book with a great message, and the ending is a tearjerker in the best possible way. I'd recommend it without hesitation to most middle grade readers, girls or boys, even those who may not normally pick up realistic fiction.
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews66.2k followers
February 9, 2016
Watch my review & discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txeTr...

What a WONDERful first book of the year! I read this book almost too quickly, I wanted it to last longer. This might be technically a children's book, but it really was such a special and meaningful read and I highly recommend that everyone read this once in their lives!
Profile Image for Aly (Fantasy4eva).
240 reviews120 followers
April 15, 2017
Personally, I prefer my ARC cover. You like? :)

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August has always known that he's different. But he's learned to long accept that people will always stare at his face, and there's nothing he can do about it. So why not just live life the best way possible? With a loving family always by his side, although originally not at all happy about starting school, he soon starts to warm to the idea. Having been home-schooled for many years he is now more vulnerable than ever.

Like any person that's a new student, August faces many mixed reactions from fellow students. Some are welcoming like Summers and Jack. Others not so much like Henry and Julian. But add to that something which will make you definitely stand out - and not in a positive way - and you are bound to have a rough few days. I just want to say this straight out. If I was August, heck no would I be brave enough to walk through those gates. He is just ten years old but his sensibility, ability to laugh at himself and his courage just blew me away. I think he is such a wonderful human being. I can't gush enough about him.

What I particularly love about the book is how we are able to see August through others too. Of course this is Augusts journey, but it's interesting to see how others see him. Via, his sister, is the one I found most interesting. She's a teenager and at that age where she is still discovering new things about herself day by day. And although she adores her brother, she's grown up learning never to complain, to never want or expect anything from her parents. She's always known that August is first priority since her parents are so over -protective over him, but little by little, it's clear that she's starting to grow a little resentful. And she hates herself for it, because she loves her family so much.

What really shined for me was not just August himself, but his loving tight - knit family. The kind that you see in cartoons or children's books. The bedtime stories, the hugs and kisses. It's so lovely to just watch from afar and see how supportive and sweet they are towards one another.

And hey, when we get to the last few pages it's just full on inspiring. Some very touching, quotable moments there. ;)
Profile Image for Federico DN.
349 reviews617 followers
August 27, 2022
“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

10 years old August Pullman suffers mandibulofacial dysostosis, a genetic disorder affecting his jaw, chin and hearing. Now imagine something really bad and scary, then ten times worse. This is Auggie.

Auggie is home schooled and stays reclusive with his family, but when the day finally arrives to attend Beecher Prep, Auggie will have to learn to come out of his shell and deal with other kids, and it’s certainly not going to be easy. His life, and everyone around him, is going to be affected.

A masterful novel about discrimination, bullying and acceptance. Equally funny and heart-wrenching at times, with first person perspective through Auggie’s eyes, but also alternating with his sister Via and many of his friends. Through Wonder we can appreciate how everyone is affected by Auggie’s presence, and how they deal with it.

You simply can't not LOVE Wonder. It is filled with so much love, and pain. Auggie is adorable, and his family is lovable. Jack Will, Summer, Miranda also amazing. And special mention for Daisy, Charlotte and even hateful Julian. An unforgettable YA/Children’s novel, with so many teachings, quotes and moments to remember by. Moving, uplifting. A must read for kids and adults alike. EXTREMELY recommendable. A special place earned in my heart, and solid Favorite.

The movie (2017) is a great adaptation. Very faithful to the book, extremely moving, with an absolutely fantastic ending. Jacob Tremblay playing a wonderful Auggie. And I especially LOVED Owen Wilson as Nate, Auggie’s father, adorable beyond words could ever describe. Julia Roberts was also there. The book was far superior of course but, all things considered, an excellent choice to complement the reading.

[2012] [315p] [YA/Children’s] [EXTREMELY Recommendable] [Choose Kind] [Darth Daisy <3] [“My mom and dad had a teacher called Miss Butt,” I said. “Auggie!” said Mom, but Mr. Tushman laughed.] [“Jack, sometimes you don’t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone.”] [Be kind to nature and it will be kind to you.]

“Cuando te den a elegir entre tener la razón o ser amable, elije la amabilidad”

August Pullman tiene diez años y sufre disostosis mandibulofacial, un desorden genético que afecta su mandíbula, barbilla y audición. Ahora imaginate algo muy malo y aterrador, después diez veces peor. Este es Auggie.

Auggie es instruído en casa y se mantiene recluído con su familia, pero cuando el día finalmente llega de comenzar la Preparatoria Beecher, Auggie tendrá que aprender a salir de su caparazón y lidiar con otros niños, y ciertamente no va a ser fácil. Su vida, y la de todos los que lo rodean, va a ser afectada.

Una magistral novela sobre discriminación, bullying y aceptación. Igualmente graciosa y emocionalmente destructora de a ratos, con primera perspectiva a través de los ojos de Auggie, pero también alternando con su hermana Via y muchos de sus amigos. A través de Wonder podemos apreciar cómo todos se ven afectados por la presencia de Auggie, y cómo lidian con ello.

Uno simplemente no puede no AMAR Wonder. Está lleno de tanto amor, y dolor. Auggie es adorable, y su familia es entrañable. Jack Will, Summer, Miranda también geniales. Y una mención especial para Daisy, Charlotte y hasta el odioso Julian. Una inolvidable novela para Joven Adulto / Niños, con muchísimas enseñanzas, citas y momentos para el recuerdo. Conmovedora, elevadora. Una lectura debida para niños y adultos por igual. EXTREMADAMENTE recomendable. Un lugar especial ganado en mi corazón, y sólido Favorito.

La película (2017) es una genial adaptación. Muy fiel al libro, extremadamente conmovedora, con un absolutamente fantástico final. Jacob Tremblay haciendo un maravilloso Auggie. Y especialmente AME a Owen Wilson como Nate, el padre de Auggie, adorable más allá de lo que las palabras podrían jamás describir. Julia Roberts también estaba ahí. El libro fue muy superior por supuesto pero, considerando todo, una excelente elección para complementar la lectura.

[2012] [315p] [Joven Adulto/Libro para niños] [EXTREMADAMENTE Recomendable] [Elije Amabilidad] [Darth Daisy <3] [“Mi mama y mi papá tuvieron una profesora llamada Sta. Culo,” dije. “Auggie!” dijo Mamá, pero el Sr. Trasero rió.] [“Jack, a veces no tenés que querer lastimar a alguien para lastimar a alguien.”] [Se amable con la naturaleza y ella será amable con vos.]
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
530 reviews34.5k followers
August 4, 2018
”You don’t need your eyes to love, right? You just feel it inside you.”

I chose this quote as my introduction to this review, because I think it fits the prevailing mood of the book so very well. In my case “Wonder” definitely wasn’t a sad book, or a book that caused me to cry rivers of tears, it however was a book that made me think a lot about life though.

I mean how could you not think about Auggie and the world we live in after finishing this book? How could you not wonder if you’re a good and righteous person? It’s easy to say you’d never talk bad about a boy like Auggie, but how many of us can truly say that they never said a single bad word about another person? How many can say they never bitched about someone else? I think the answer is “none”.

”Jack, sometimes you don’t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone. You understand?”

We’re all human, we have our dumb moments, we make mistakes and we all have flaws. The thing is, no one is perfect and I think “Wonder” teaches this lesson very well. Not directly or forthright like you would expect, but subtly and with a lot of finesse. ;-) We can read it in the way the students react when Auggie starts to attend their school, we can see it in the blunt hostility Julian is showing whenever no adult is around to see it. We witness it in the change of the students, in the change of the tide. And this, my dear friends, is so beautiful and amazing to watch!

”At first, I admit it, I was only friendly to him because Mr.Tushman asked me to be especially nice and all that. But now I would choose to hang out with him. He laughs at all my jokes. And I kind of feel like I can tell August anything. Like he’s a good friend. Like, if all the guys in fifth grade were lined up against a wall and I got to choose anyone I wanted to hang out with, I would choose August.”

Slowly and gradually the children around Auggie begin to realise that he’s just another normal kid and that his face might look different but that he’s actually a really cool guy to hang out with. He convinces them with his actions and his wonderful character! Not with his looks! XD

”She kissed me all over my face. She kissed my eyes that came down too far. She kissed my cheeks that looked punched in. She kissed my tortoise mouth. She said soft words that I know were meant to help me, but words can’t change my face.”

Still, there were many moments my heart ached for August and sometimes I just wanted to hug him like his mom. It made me sad that he had to fight for being accepted, that he couldn’t just go out like any other kid, that there always were people who stared at him. But I didn’t just feel for our cute and adorable protagonist but also for his family and friends. The moment his father cried alone in his bedroom touched me so much I just couldn’t stop thinking about it… Not even after I closed the book.

”His back was to the door, so he didn’t know I was there. At first I thought he was laughing because his shoulders were shaking, but then he put his palms on his eyes and I realized he was crying. It was the quietest crying I’ve ever heard. Like a whisper.”

I know everyone talks about Auggie and his experiences but I think his parents deserve to be mentioned as welll! They raised two wonderful children! Against all odds and with all the love a parent is able to give! For me they are the secret stars of the book and I love them with all my heart! They raised Auggie and Via to be two awesome and independent kids and this is an achievement!!! Plus can we acknowledge their grandma as well!? I loved the scene with Via and her because it was done so beautifully!

”I love Auggie very, very much,” she said softly. I can still remember her Portuguese accent, the way she rolled her r’s. “But he has many angels looking out for him already, Via. And I want you to know that you have me looking out for you. Okay, menina querida? I want you to know that you are number one for me. You are my …” She looked out at the ocean and spread her hands out, like she was trying to smooth out the waves, “You are my everything. You understand me, Via? Tu es meu tudo.”

Their grandma understood Via and her troubles and it may seem strange, but I was so thankful for her saying those things. As Auggie’s sister Via didn’t always get the attention she needed, because parents tend to take more care of the kid that has problems and is in need of their advertency. They had no other choice, it’s only natural. Still, I loved Olivia for accepting this and I loved her even more for supporting her brother. She obviously couldn’t help but feel alone sometimes though and it was really comforting to know that her grandma was watching out for her. =) Well her grandma and Justin of course! ;-P

I’m sure if I wanted, I could probably write an entire essay about this book, but I guess I’ll just leave it at that. In this particular case it might be best if you experience this “wonderful” book yourself! All I’m saying is that “Wonder” was a heart-warming and super sweet read! I can recommend it to everyone and I really hope many people will learn from it and will become more broad-minded and kind in the future! =)

Open your minds and hearts!!!
You’re beautiful and perfectly imperfect; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! ;-)

”You were wearing that helmet all the time. And the real, real, real, real truth is: I missed seeing your face, Auggie. I know you don’t always love it, but you have to understand … I love it. I love this face of yours, Auggie, completely and passionately. And it kind of broke my heart that you were always covering it up.”
Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews527 followers
March 1, 2012
I feel a bit like a cold-hearted snob for giving this book two stars. I am not saying that it isn't an uplifting story definitely worth being told (and read), but I can't deny that there were a few aspects I had problems with and that the story didn't trigger the emotional reaction I expected it to.

Wonder is the story of August Pullman's first year at school. Auggie is a ten-year-old boy born with a facial anomaly that has required him to undergo countless operations and made him an outsider with other kids his age. This book is the story of him facing his fears of being stared at and excluded, of him growing up and of his family letting go.

His story is told from six different perspectives. We have of course August himself, but also his older sister Via, her boyfriend Justin, her friend Miranda and Jack and Summer, two kids August befriends at school. Male and female perspectives, very young teens, older teens – yet their voices all sounded more or less the same to me. Furthermore, I felt that some points of view didn’t really add to the story
Funny enough, the voice that got to me the most wasn't August's but his sister Via's. Basically, she has lived in her little brother's shadow all her life. I found it rather sad to read her thoughts, how she always had to fend for herself when her little brother was the center of attention and how she sometimes hates herself for wanting to take that attention away from him. She really was the character I could identify with the most, and her voice definitely rang true to me. This doesn't mean I couldn't sympatise with August himself, too, but the four additional perspectives I could have easily done without.
In general, the writing is kept simple, fitting and true to the ten-year-old responsible for most of the narration, but towards the end, the heavy use of the word "dude" really got on my nerves. It seemed to be for authenticity purposes, but it bordered on ridiculous (I know, this is the nitpicker in me coming out.)

A very important role throughout the book play precepts August's English teacher, Mr Browne, presents his students at the beginning of every month. These precepts are often addressed in the story, and one of them, probably the one used to underline the overall message of the book, rubbed me the wrong way. It is the following quote by an American psychotherapist and author:

"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind." – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Now, don't get me wrong: being kind certainly isn’t a bad decision. But should I really value being kind over being right? Should I tell lies not to offend a person's feelings for example? Should I omit my own feelings in order to not hurt anyone else? Tell me, where would this concept lead us? Towards a better world? I somehow doubt it.

In the end, when I recapitulate the whole book, there are simply too many "toos" that come to my mind: the different voices were too similar, Auggie’s parents too good and too understanding, the "villains" too evil, the ending too perfect, the overall tone a little too preachy.

And I have one question: Do ten-year-old kids really date?!

Thanks a lot to Random House and Netgalley for the review copy.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,002 reviews35.9k followers
October 25, 2019
Update: Saw the 10am movie this morning. Paul bought our tickets --while I covered my face with my hat until we got to our seats in the dark theater. I have a small surgery this coming Monday in the doctor's office on my nose (thank heavens for the numbing prescription cream) >> before the shots and knife come at me....
Then the bigger surgery, Nov. 29th, at the hospital, --so I wanted to see this film (escape from hiding inside my home) --as my inspiration --before more cutting on my face! I admit to not being able to watch this film without tears. It was WONDER-ful!!!!!

The movie has a terrific cast:
Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, and Izabela Vidovic.

The film doesn't only focus on Auggie. It also revolves around his sister, his parents, his dog, conflicts and friendships with other students at school, and bullying.
A very heartwarming film...........and little Auggie is still my hero!!!

Re- READ this last night .....Augie is my inspiration ....
The movie opens here Nov. 17th.
With 2 more surgeries on my face this month -
forehead and nose area...
Little 10 year old Augie is my imaginary friend!!

I feel ready - scars will just be scars — and beauty really does come from the inside....
And love is Love!
All that mushy jazz!!!

Wonder is wonderful and the movie looks like a Wonder too!!! Looking forward to seeing the film.

The author created an incredible character ... Augie lives in the minds now of millions of people around the world...
Huge honors to the author!!!!

I read this book yesterday (wonderful Teen book for for 'adults' like me too). I wanted a book to rest with (One sitting-3hour-page-turning book). This was it!!!!!

I smiled -I cried -- Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,206 followers
July 29, 2017
Wow! I am so glad that I finally got around to listening to this story. 'Wonder' had been sitting on my TBR list for a really long time, but I had been waiting for a time to listen to it with my daughters. That time finally arrived last weekend, when we had to spend a full day in the car on a trip.

I had read many great reviews for this book, so I had really high hopes going into it. In fact, I was worried that I would be disappointed, as I often am with a book that is surrounded by so much hype. However, I can say that this book did not let me down in any way. In fact, it exceeded every expectation that I had. I absolutely loved this story!

'Wonder' tells the story of a young boy, August Pullman aka "Auggie", who is going to begin attending school for the first time ever. Auggie has been homeschooled for years by his mother because he was born with severe facial deformities, requiring multiple operations over the course of his young life. Despite the myriad of surgeries that he has undergone, he still lives with significant facial disfigurement. Now, Auggie will be entering the fifth grade at Beecher Prep.

Told from multiple POVs, this book provides a thorough account of Auggie's experiences. I was especially impressed with the raw honesty of his sister's POV. Growing up with Auggie wasn't easy, as she always came second to his needs. She struggled with resentment and guilt over having those feelings, as she truly loved her brother but craved the attention of her parents also.

Auggie's POV was also brutally honest. He was well aware of how other people viewed him. Yet, no amount of awareness can make a child immune to the stares and cruel words. His story was heartbreaking, but inspiring.

It was also easy to relate to the POVs of others, including Jack, the boy who befriends Auggie at school. Although some of his actions were upsetting, he was only human. I had to remind myself that he was just a young boy, battling his own insecurities and trying to fit in at a very impressionable age. Even good people do bad things sometimes.

As a parent, I both admired and sympathized with Auggie's mother. My heart went out to her. I could only imagine how difficult it would be to enroll your child into school, wanting to provide as normal a life as possible, while also wanting to shelter and protect him. I don't know what I would've done in her shoes.

Not surprisingly, this was an incredibly emotional story. At times, it was downright depressing. However, I couldn't help but fall in love with Auggie and his resilience. This story broke my heart, but it also inspired me.

Most importantly, this story will make you reflect on your views and behaviors. This story highlights the cruelty of people's actions, bred from ignorance and fear. Never have I read a story that so effectively prompts readers to examine the impact of their actions and words. For children, this was a wonderful lesson in empathy.

This book prompted some thoughtful discussion with my daughters (5 and 10) about bullying and the "golden rule". Although some of the story went over the head of my 5 year-old, who was primarily hung-up on the hilarity of the "farting nurse", my 10 year-old didn't miss a beat. I have no doubt that this story will stick with her and make her more considerate and empathetic toward other children.

'Wonder' is the type of book that should be required reading in schools and I'm glad to hear that it is in some schools already. Just like 'The Diary of a Young Girl' (Anne Frank's Diary), this book is a book that guides you to be a better, more thoughtful, person. It is beautiful and engaging. No doubt about it, this book left it's mark on me. I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old!

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.6k followers
December 2, 2020
“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

A normal boy, with an unusual face, starting school for the first time in his life.
August was born with facial abnormalities, went through lots of operations, but his face still looks far from normal. Now he's about to start middle school, and because he's been homeschooled by his mom ever since, he's both scared and excited.

This book. It's Amazing.
While sometimes sad and shocking, the happy definitely overshadows the sad. I admit to shedding more than a few tears. But don't tell anyone.
The greatest thing about this book - in my opinion - is that there are so many perspectives to one story. While August is clearly the main character, lots of people get their fair share of pages, and I am so, so glad for it. This beautiful novel is not only about acceptance, tolerance and kindness. It teaches so many lessons. More than just once I stopped reading and thought, Yes, that is exactly how I feel, that is precisely what I think. R. J. Palacio touches so many topics through her variety of characters. Poverty, death, relationships and more

The only thing I have left to say is that, from now on, I will try to be kinder than necessary.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
April 12, 2012

It would be pretty impossible to properly review this book without getting just a touch spoilery. I think I could actually sum up rather succinctly what it was that made this book only get three stars from me, and also what I'm sure will be many readers' deciding factor as to whether they will love it or not. Basically, you should love this novel if you like stories that end with this:

However, if you're looking for the slightly less spoilery version, you'll have to settle for me talking about the tone of this book instead. Turn away now if you want to be completely surprised.

So... this is a book about a boy - Auggie - who was born with a severe facial deformity and, despite years of surgery, is still left with a face that scares small children and shocks adults. He has been homeschooled his whole life, until one day when his parents decide attending middle school may be an important step towards Auggie gaining some kind of normality. He faces the stares, name-calling and ostracisation that come with being different in school - only a million times worse than normal.

My biggest problem with this book is just how happy and uplifting it is. I know that sounds terrible, but I wanted it to be grittier. Someone like Auggie must have so much emotional turmoil but I felt it was lost amongst the happily ever after-ness. It was too sweet, too nice, too unreal. It's like that moment when Neville Longbottom gets those ten kind-of undeserved house points that guarantee Gryffindor the house cup... except it's far worse because Auggie's story is supposed to feel real, not like he lives in a magic castle and has just defeated a dark wizard. It was too perfect to believe in.

There are bad guys in this book, sure there are, but only one of them remains unredeemed and he loses his popularity. In other words: the good guys triumph and the bad guys get punished. I wasn't feeling it. It seemed so unbelievable to me that the only person who doesn't get a happy ending is the evil kid.

But three stars still means I liked it! This book was an entertaining page-turner and I had no problems with the really young age of the narrators. Yes, narrators, because the book switched between the point of view of Auggie, his sister - Via, Jack, Summer, Justin and Miranda... and by some miracle this actually worked! The only one I didn't enjoy reading was Justin's, I thought it was a bit of a waste of paper. Other than that, I liked reading about how Auggie's looks affected his relationships with the aforementioned. However, I still think some of the kids were nicer and more understanding than they would be in real life at their age.

And one last thing, this book did bring tears to my eyes but it had nothing to do with Auggie - be prepared for one surprising and upsetting part that I wasn't expecting.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,573 reviews5,902 followers
April 23, 2015
I hate reviewing books that I'm crazy about. I never can get across how wonderful they are. This is one of those books.

Sorry Christina. Words do hurt.

The universe has not been kind to Auggie Pullman. He was born with facial deformities. He has had multiple surgeries but he still gets people stopping when they see him and ugly remarks made about him.

He had been homeschooled up until the fifth grade due to his many recoveries from the surgeries and I think to protect him from other people. His parents decide it would be better if he was exposed to people and he begins a private school. Middle school. Middle school kids are the spawns of the devil.

I have a 11 year old boy who is in the fifth grade. He hates to read. I have no clue how I had a kid that hates books but go figure. I'm going to purchase this book and I'm going to read every single word of it to him. If I have to tie him down.
Profile Image for Luffy.
867 reviews719 followers
August 11, 2020
I went in expecting sadness, misery, bleakness, joylessness, in the book. I can understand the popularity of the book. I got caught unawares. This is a book that can be recommended to everybody. There is a lot of joie de vivre present.

This love of life is imbued in the short and fragile chapters of the book. There is a lesson present in most chapters, but I chose to read it as a thriller, instead of a fable. I really dreaded something horrible would happen to August.

Instead we get a light-toned book that asks us to like it unconditionally. There is no need for suspending one's disbelief, no need to get pedantic. The multiple narrators don't matter since the focus is only on August. I raise my glass up, and say :"To August, the boy who lived!".
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 14, 2021
Wonder (Wonder #1), R.J. Palacio

Wonder is a children's novel by Raquel Jaramillo, under the pen name of R. J. Palacio, published on February 14, 2012.

Palacio wrote Wonder after an incident where she and her three-year-old son were waiting in line to buy ice cream.

Her son noticed a girl with facial birth defects.

Fearing he would react badly, Palacio attempted to remove her son from the situation so as not to upset the girl or her family but ended up worsening the situation.

Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder" made her realize that the incident could teach society a valuable lesson. Palacio was inspired by Merchant's lyrics and she began writing.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «شگفتی»؛ «اعجوبه»؛ «معجزه»، نویسنده: آر.جی پالاسیو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و چهارم سپتامبر سال2016میلادی

عنوان: شگفتی؛ نویسنده: آر.جی پالاسیو؛ مترجم: ناهید قهرمانی؛ تهران، هیرمند، 1393، در 428ص، شابک 9789644083433؛ موضوع داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

عنوان: اعجوبه؛ نویسنده: آر.جی پالاسیو؛ مترجم: فرح بهبهانی؛ تهران، نشر پیدایش، 1393، در 515 ص، شابک: 9786002961235؛

عنوان: معجزه؛ نویسنده آر.جی پالاسیو؛ ‏‫مترجم شاهپور سخی؛ تهران، نشر تیسا، 1397؛ در 295ص؛ شابک 9786007683934؛

اعجوبه یا «شگفتی» یا «معجزه»، داستان پسربچه ی ده ساله‌ ای است که صورتی ناقص، و از ترکیب افتاده، و سندرم «تریچر کالینز» دارد؛ ایده ی نوشتن این کتاب، زمانی به ذهن «آر.جی پالاسیو» رسید، که در پاییز سال 2007میلادی، با دو پسرش در حومه ی نیویورک، به دختر بچه‌ ای برخورد کرد، که سندرم «تریچر کالینز» داشت؛ «پالاسیو» گفته است: «واکنش خودم نسبت به دختر باعث وحشتم شد، و به این فکر افتادم، که اگر پسر سه ساله‌ ام، این دختر را ببیند حتماً جیغ می‌زند.»؛ ...؛

نقل از متن از کتاب شگفتی: (می‌دانم یک پسر ده ساله‌ ی عادی نیستم، خب، البته کارهایم عادی ومعمولی‌اند؛ بستنی می‌خورم، دوچرخه سواری می‌کنم؛ توپ بازی می‌کنم و یک ایکس باکس دارم، ظاهرا اینجور کارها باید از من بچه‌ ای عادی بسازند؛ به خصوص که از نظر شخصیتی هم شبیه بچه های عادی هستم؛ با وجود این، می‌دانم که هیچ بچه‌ ی عادی‌ ای باعث نمی‌شود که سایر بچه‌ های عادی توی زمین بازی، به محض دیدنش جیغ بکشند و فرار کنند، میدانم که هیچ بچه‌ ی عادی‌ای، هر جا که پا میگذارد، سایر بچه های عادی چهار چشمی به او خیره نمی‌شوند؛ اگر یک چراغ جادو گیر می‌آوردم که میتوانست فقط یک آرزویم را برآورده کند، آرزو می‌کردم قیافه‌ ای عادی داشته باشم، تا دیگر هیچکس به من زل نزند! آرزو می‌کردم بتوانم توی خیابان راه بروم، بی آنکه مردم با دیدنم رویشان را برگردانند! به هر حال، فکر می‌کنم من فقط به این دلیل عادی نیستم که هیچکس مرا عادی نمی‌بیند، ولی حالا دیگر کم و بیش به این چیزها عادت کرده‌ام، یاد گرفته‌ ام وانمود کنم که نمی‌بینم مردم با دیدنم چه قیافه‌ هایی میگیرند، حالا دیگر همه مان، من، مامان، بابام و خواهرم «ویا»، خیلی خوب با این رفتارها کنار می‌آییم؛ خب...؛ بهتر است بگویم، جز «ويا»! چون او هنوز که هنوز است، نمیتواند بی‌خیال برخورد دیگران شود، و هر وقت رفتار بی ادبانه‌ ای میبیند، واقعا جوش می‌آورد؛ مثلا یکبار در زمین بازی، چند تا بچه‌ ی بزرگ‌تر از من، سروصدا راه انداختند، من حتی نمی‌دانم سر و صدایشان سر چه چیزی بود؛ چون اصلا چیزی نشنیدم، ولی «ویا» شنید و در جا، سرشان هوار کشید! خب دیگر، «ویا» این طوری است و من این طوری نیستم؛)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 22/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,457 reviews8,564 followers
August 2, 2012
Yes. Yes. Yes. Wonder is one of those books that just makes me want to say... Yes.

"I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks."

We've all been bullied before. Criticized or cast aside because of how we talk, what we wear, or who we hang out with. But I doubt that many of us have experienced anything like what August Pullman went through. Ten-year-old Auggie was born with a severe facial deformity, and despite his shining personality, is plunged into a world with people who cannot see past his appearance. Wonder details Auggie's journey into the fifth grade, and serves as a stark and honest portrayal of the problems with being different.

I wish every fifth grader read this book. After reading Wendy's wonderful review, I bought this book for my ten-year-old cousin as a birthday gift, before reading it myself. Wonder is probably the best gift I have given my cousin yet.

Auggie was an absolutely amazing protagonist. Palachio carves his character with the utmost precision, creating a sympathetic and strong ten-year-old who readers cannot help but cheer for. He has his whiny moments, like every little kid, but the ordeals he's forced to overcome grant him a giant heart, too. I wanted to give him and all of his friends hugs (which, coming from an adolescent male, may sound strange) and beat up give a stern talk to everyone who was mean to him.

The plot worked wonders as well. Though the story is mainly told through Auggie's point of view, there are also five other perspectives readers get to see the story through. Each voice contributed something superb to the development of the plot and to the fleshing out of Auggie's personality and life experiences. There was never a dull moment, and I always wanted to know what would happen next.

I cannot laud Wonder enough. There were several small things that made me love the book, like how Auggie's parents tried to provide him with the best life possible, and how his older sister, Olivia, was in a high school relationship that didn't involve drugs or sex. When I read Summer's perspective, I thought to myself, why can't every little girl be this spectacular? Mr. Browne's precepts, Jack Will, Miranda, Justin, Daisy, and even Julian, all played a part in making this book what it was.

I want to end my review by thanking R.J. Palacio for writing what will be my birthday gift to every little kid I see for a long time. This is a book I want my kids to read, my cousins to read, and even for my teachers' kids to read. Heck, everyone should read this. It is a life lesson about kindness, compassion, and human connection. It is a testament to the strength we all have within us, not only to withstand the pain of stinging words, but to take a stand for what we believe is right.

*review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 9 books33k followers
October 28, 2017
Madre mía. Llevaba tiempo sin leer un libro tan rápido. Ha durado menos de un día en mis manos.

Wonder. La lección de August es un libro que tenía pendiente de leer desde hace bastantes años. La gente no paraba de recomendármelo, pero no soy muy fan de las historias que siento que están hechas para que me emocione. Sin embargo, leí la primera página y ya estuve introducido en la historia. La manera de narrar de RJ Palacio es espectacular.

Uno de los motivos que me han llevado a leer esta novela, aparte de las recomendaciones de amigos, fue el tráiler de la película. Llegué a emocionarme sin haber conectado de manera previa con la historia, y que un simple tráiler lo consiga... omg.

No tenía nada que leer y decidí agarrar La lección de August. Es una de las mejores decisiones lectoras que he tomado en los últimos años. Qué historia tan bonita, qué bien contada, qué maestría para mostrar los sentimientos y narrar detalles... Estoy ENAMORADO de esta novela.

Cuando tras la primera parte (la novela se compone de ocho, si no me equivoco) veo que cambiamos de punto de vista y nos movemos de August a otro personaje, me sentí bastante decepcionado. Pensaba por aquel momento que la novela conseguiría llevarse cinco estrellas si continuaba así. Tengo debilidad por las novelas que tratan temas duros pero que son narradas por las voces de niños inocentes. Es como... complicado, y hace que los temas cuelen más hondo.

A decir verdad, me arrepentí casi de inmediato de haber sentido eso. El hecho de que Charlotte, Summer, Vía o incluso Miranda aporten su granito de arena a la historia hace que RJ Palacio le dé una redondez a la trama como pocas he visto. Cierra todos los puntos, todo lo que rodea al pequeño Auggie, y te ayuda a entender muchas decisiones o sentimientos mostrados por los personajes.

Se tratan ya no solo temas como el de la cara de August y sus amigos en el colegio, sino las relaciones de pareja, la familia, el aparentar ser algo que no somos para contentar a otros... Un sinfín de temas importantes que se tratan desde puntos de vista muy personales que le dan a la novela un profundidad mucho más humana.

¡Eso sí! Durante la lectura me arrepentí un montón de haber conocido a la autora y no haber podido darle las gracias por haber escrito esta increíble novela... Por aquel entonces no la había leído y ahora me arrepiento mucho, mucho. A ver si para la próxima vez me he conseguido leer el resto de libros que conforman el universo de August.

No sé, estoy enamorado. Puedo decir muchas cosas. No voy a parar de recomendarlo. Es un libro necesario y que me ha hecho sentir muchísimo. Se convierte en uno de mis favoritos.
Profile Image for El Librero de Valentina.
266 reviews18.8k followers
April 26, 2020
Una lectura que todos nuestros niños deberían hacer, con un mensaje muy fuerte sobre la aceptación y la amabilidad, el valor de la amistad y la familia.
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
September 1, 2019

ليست برواية
هذه ليست رواية
فصاحبتها لا تفقه ألف باء أبسط تقنيات الكتابة
عمل ساذج لا يقرأه طفل في الخامسة

قرأتُ من قبل روايات على ألسنة أطفال
مثل غرفة

و مراهقين ‏
مثل لغز مقتل الكلب

إنما بحق الله ما هذا الذي قرأته..؟
انه لا يخرج عن

That was awesome, dude!‎
That was totally funny!‎
Good night, Auggie!‎
ٍSee you later, Auggie! ‎


مر ما يقرب من 4 سنوات على قراءة العمل
الذي لم يدفعني وقتها لكتابة أي شيء عنه
ومر باهتا كماء بلا لون ولا معنى
بلا حبكة ولا لغة ولا أسلوب‏

ما ذكرني به هو صدور النسخة العربية المترجمة
ما جعلني أضمن تقييمي أخيرا

الحكاية باختصار هي عن طفل يعاني مشكلات جينية أثرت على ملامح وجهه ‏
لنرى الطريقة التي يتعامل بها مع عالمه الصغير -والتي يُعامل بها
عندما يقرر والداه أخيرا إلحاقه بمدرسة بعد تعليمه بالمنزل لعشر سنوات


ليس عندي إلا كل تقدير للقيم الرائعة التي تبثها الكاتبة
والقائها الضوء على ظاهرة التنمر التي يعاني منها الجميع

إنما ليس كل من أراد إحياء قيم المحبة والتسامح والطيبة ‏بقادر ‏‏على كتابة عمل أدبي

فهو طويل بلا داع
ممل بلا توقف

ليس هناك سطر يمكن أن تذكره فور الانتهاء منه
ربما فيما عدا العبارة التي تقول أن كل واحد منا يستحق الوقوف لتحيته بحرارة ولو لمرة واحدة في حياته

سطحي وبلا أحداث

إن الحدث الوحيد تقريبا فيها هو تعرض أوغست لتحرش من بعض ‏‏‏المتنمرين في الغابة لبضعة دقائق
والذي أنقذه أصدقاؤه من خطر اللاشيء هذا
وعاد إلى بيته سليما معافى إلى حياته المعتادة


وإني لأتساءل ألم يكن من الأفضل لو قدمت الكاتبة قصة ‏الطفل ‏‏الحقيقية على لسانه مثلا
بدلا من كتابة عمل متهرئ بهذا الشكل

أوليست القضية أهم


كل المحبة لأوغي
وأكتفي ب
للكاتبة المصونة

لا أنصح أحدا بهذا العمل
وإن كان الفيلم لطيفا
على الأقل أداء الطفل المتمكن وظرف طاقم العمل والصورة اللطيفة والموسيقى المسلية
كلها أسباب تدفعك لرؤيته وتشجيع الأطفال من كل سن على رؤيته
فعلى الأقل سيتعلموا المزيد عن قبح ظاهر�� التنمر
دون الحاجة لقراءة ثغاء كاتبة فارغ في عمل يفتقر أبسط فنيات الرواية

Profile Image for Megan Johnson.
47 reviews77 followers
January 2, 2018
Review coming tomorrow!!! BE ON THE LOOK OUT 😃😃😃

It has taken me a few days to get to this review because I needed to process this book fully.

August is the main character in this book and he has an abnormal face. For 2 years Auggie wore an Astronauts helmet so that no one would be able to see his face. It's not like kind of face that only a mother could love, in fact it's the kind of face that everyone loves. Auggie is a very special personal and someone that many people should look up to.

Auggie was never enrolled in a regular school due to all the times he needed surgery on his face to correct his differences. Auggie was home schooled by him mother until Auggie was supposed to go into Middle School. His parents thought at this time, it would be easy for Auggie to transition into school since he wont be the only new kid in school. Auggie agreed to go to school, but he knew that he would be the odd man out.

Auggie met Summer at school, she sat with him everyday at lunch and never even flinched at the way he looked. Summer quickly became one of Auggies best friends. His other best friend is Jack, but he took a little longer to come around...

This book brought out a lot of different emotions for me. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I was happy. I would recommend reading this book or having a Middle School aged child read it. This book could help prevent bullying and so much more.

Auggie was bullied throughout the book, but he always had his head held high and was always happy and willing to help everyone. More people should be like Auggie in this world and stop a think how other people feel.

Enjoy this book and let yourself get lost in it! :) Happy reading!
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews62k followers
June 19, 2016
"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."
Profile Image for Ahmed  Ejaz.
549 reviews325 followers
January 14, 2018
"If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place."
Hear me out, people of Earth!! You just need to read this book! Like right now! *Look who's sayin' this. One who was also delaying in reading this precious gem.*
Okay, I am confessing. I didn't read this book after pure desire. No! Fortunately, It got selected in our buddy read in Pakistani Readers group. And all the credit goes to Abdullah. He was the one who suggested this and I was more than happy that finally I was going to start this.
So I am thankful to him.

This book is about the life of a facially deformed boy, August. He didn't go to school ever. He was home-tuitioned by his mom till grade 4. He didn't get a chance to go to school because he had to suffer through a lot of surgeries. But at last her mom decided to send him to school in fifth grade. She was doing this for his own good. But August was, obviously, very reluctant for this.
It's such a heart-warming book! Wow! Every character was perfectly portrayed by R. J. Palacio. August, his sister Olivia, his friends Jake & Summer were my favourites. August had mom & dad who loved him soo much. His sister loved him soo much. And that was just a fantastic family I couldn't help love.
-I really loved the way Via (Olivia's nick name) was portrayed. It was very realistic. You will feel that too.
-Maybe it's me, but I think author forgot about Justin very soon. He just disappeared without any warning.
-There were two leeetle bit things which annoyed me. First, I didn't like whole Star Wars craze of August. They always put me off as I don’t know a shit about it. Second is, I didn’t like August's nick name, "Auggie"? It doesn't sound cute. At least to me. "August" sounds way much better.

Forget what I just said! *Obliviate!* THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ. It contains the great lessons of empathy. And I don’t think anyone can hate empathy.
It was a memorable read. And this book will always have a special place in my heart.

12 January, 2018
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,533 followers
April 24, 2020
Wonder was a fabulous children's story about accepting differences and the courage of being yourself. Auggie was born with a severe facial deformity and is going to attend a real school for the first time entering 5th grade. We meet his sister Via, his parents, and his growing group of friends at the new school. We learn of his difficulties in fitting in and feel our heartstrings pulled when he overcomes each challenge that life puts in his way. Written from the perspective of Auggie as well as the other folks that cross his path during this tumultuous year, it is a moving and educational book which I highly recommend.
The movie is wonderful as well!
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,285 reviews2,205 followers
December 20, 2017
I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while. I recently saw the movie, which I thought was so well done, but I wish I had read the book first . Even though the movie was pretty true to the book with a few minor differences, the problem with seeing the movie first is that as I read the book I saw the actors rather than imagining them as the author wrote them. Because the movie was so true to the book, I almost felt at times as if I’d already read it. Having said that, I’m still very glad I read it . I have an affinity towards child narrators who are almost always precocious and know so much more than the adults around them . It was inevitable from the first sentence that I would love ten year old August Pullman. He’s smart and funny and perceptive and has a genetic condition that caused cranio-facial abnormalities and even after 27 surgeries in his young life, he’ll never look like everyone else. While he has been stared at and ridiculed, Auggie has been quite protected by his loving family. The stares and the ridicule and the bullying get pushed to another level, as Auggie sets out for school for the first time in his life when his parents opt for middle school over home schooling.

This is by its very nature a story with a message aimed at children and young adults, but it is an important story that I would recommend to people of all ages. The narrative structure packs a punch. We not only get Auggie‘ point of view but we see Auggie through the eyes of his sister Via, his friends Jack and Summer as well as Via’s boyfriend Justin and her best friend Miranda. Next to Auggie, I was most touched by his sister Via’s narrative telling us how alone she has felt, how independent she had to be to because all of her parents energy and attention went to August.

I’m not going to go into any detail about Auggie’s journey through his first year of middle school. It’s one you should discover for yourself. Although, Palacio’s initial inspiration for this story was a little girl she saw outside an ice cream shop, this is a work of fiction. It’s a sad and uplifting story and I wish I could be less skeptical that things will be better for all children who are different, who are bullied. If you have young children, give them this book to read or at the very least take them to see the movie. They just might learn an enormously important life lesson that could make things better .
Profile Image for James Trevino.
68 reviews34.1k followers
November 15, 2017
This was something special.

I’ve seen this book on Instagram for so long and I usually shy away from titles this overhyped, but the hype was right for once!

WONDER is the story August Pullman (or Auggie), a little boy facing a rare disease that causes facial deformity and his Journey through school and life in general. Is also the story of the people around him and of their way of living with Auggie and that is probably what makes it so heartfelt.

WONDER is also a work to learn from. I feel its purpose, beyond entertaining us readers, was to make people realize once again that they shouldn’t judge based on the cover. And that is a universal message. Maybe the book was written for a younger audience, but I don’t think anyone that read it could say it isn’t mature enough.

There are points in the story which felt so rewarding that I actually clapped, as stupid as that may sound. The ending is such a point, but I won’t spoil it here.

There were also points where the narrative flow felt a tiny bit disjointed and that, I think, is my only complaint.

Overall, I strongly recommend this, especially for younger readers. As I said, there are important lessons to be learned here.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews855 followers
January 14, 2022
2020 review: With my TBR almost eradicated by all my Lockdown reading I picked this wonder-ful book off of my shelves for a reread, and even on second reading this book is still an absolute delight! A book that does not paint grey-issues where they are not grey; a book that asks us all to recognise that we have control over how other people feel; that ultimately our teaching professions want the best for their students, and that every day and every hour they pursue that cause; that unity really is strength. So glad that the writer and the publishers weren't afraid to get this story out there. 11 out of 12!

2017 review: Auggie is a normal 10 year old with a hideous genetic facial condition. This is the story of his first year in school in the Fifth Grade, told from numerous first people's viewpoints. And this book? It is a wonder, a superbly crafted piece of fiction, ultimately promoting human kindness. This book totally moved me and had my crying at the spirit of human kindness throughout. 11 out of 12.

It's because of books like this I have a book rating system that goes up to 12, so that books that are better than 10/10 have somewhere to go. I have only ever given one book 12/12 - To Kill a Mockingbird.
2020 read, 2017 read
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,275 followers
July 14, 2017
Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a rare facial deformity. He’s had twenty-seven surgeries on his face and has always been homeschooled – until now. This year, Auggie is being mainstreamed and will enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Fitting in is hard enough when you’re the new kid, but Auggie will have to work extra hard to get his classmates to look past his extraordinary face.

If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all. I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-away thing. Here’s what I think: the only reason I’m not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.

Wonder is overflowing with valuable messages for young readers: the importance of kindness, the value of empathy, the strength of friendship, the benefits of loyalty and courage, the ramifications of our actions, and that beauty is found on the inside.

The story is told from the perspective of five different characters. Auggie is a courageous little boy who responds to other peoples’ negative reactions to his face by taking it all in stride. Via is Auggie’s older sister who loves her brother but, for most of her life, has felt neglected by her parents who must devote their attention to Auggie. Jack is Via’s boyfriend, and he admits that it’s hard not to “sneak a second look” whenever he sees Auggie. Miranda used to be Via’s best friend, before she started dying her hair pink and wearing makeup, but she’s always loved Auggie like a brother. Summer attends school with Auggie and sees that he’s “just a kid. The weirdest-looking kid [she’s] ever seen, yes. But just a kid.” And Justin can still remember the first time he saw Auggie, so he’s not happy when the principal of Beecher School selects him to show Auggie around.

Aside from Justin’s chapters, which don’t use any capital letters, the appearance and narrative voices of the remaining characters all look and sound the same. Nonetheless, telling the story from multiple perspectives allows for another important message for young readers: people often appear fine on the surface but may be struggling internally and so deserve our kindness and consideration at all times. Unfortunately, conveying the story from multiple perspectives also results in a fair amount of needless repetition.

Wonder is an acclaimed, highly praised novel. Perhaps that’s the reason expectations were high while reading this book, and that may have something to do with reaching the book’s conclusion and feeling underwhelmed. It’s a good read and, more importantly, it’s a useful book for instilling good values in young readers, but it’s difficult not to wonder how this book became quite so popular.
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,740 reviews2,268 followers
January 11, 2018
”the only reason I’m not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.”

August Pullman has seen more, been through more at the somewhat tender age of ten than most people go through in an entire lifetime. Twenty-seven surgeries, surgeries to correct craniofacial deviations from what is considered normal, and yet strangers still gawk, people are rude and hurtful. Most of his life has been fairly sheltered, but soon he is about to face the challenge of attending schools, with other kids his age.

The story is told through the perspectives of various people, Auggie, Auggie’s sister, Via, friends he makes through school, Summer, Jack, and Justin who becomes Via’s boyfriend, and a friend of Via’s, Miranda.

In quoting J.M. Barrie’s The Little White Bird Auggie’s teacher, Mr. Tushman, shares this gem: “Shall we make a new rules of life… always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?”
and then goes on to say:

”’Kinder than is necessary,’ he repeated, ’What a marvelous line, isn’t it? Kinder than is necessary . Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness. And what does that mean? How is that measured? You can’t use a yardstick. It’s like I was saying just before: it’s not like measuring how much you’ve grown in a year. It’s not exactly quantifiable, is it? How do we know we’ve been kind? What is being kind, anyway?”

I have been meaning to borrow this back for a while, but instead… after waiting however many years it has been since this book was first released, I finally just got a copy from my library. So…

Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!
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