Morgan's Reviews > Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
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it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-ve-read-in-2018

I laughed, I moved me, Bob.

This book is so good. It's so powerful and amazing, and I can't wait to see the movie. Hopefully it holds up.

Before I get into what I loved, I want to mention my three criticisms. Yup, three. 1) It's not 100% supportive of homeschooling. Basically, Auggie was homeschooled because of his weak immune system, not for any philosophical reason, so while they don't look down on homeschooling, they still act like a brick-and-mortar school is the ideal form of education. 2) Summer (one of Auggie's friends) believes in reincarnation. It's one conversation, and Auggie doesn't ever appear to believe in it, but I still didn't like that. 3) Justin, you're in high school! Use your capitals and quotation marks! I'm not sure why R.J. Palacio decided to write Justin's part without capitals or quotation marks. Maybe it's a "cool kid" thing. I wouldn't know. I'm not cool and never will be. It made the grammar Nazi inside me cringe, and caused Justin's section to be the only one where I looked ahead to see where it ended. I cared about Justin's POV, but really? USE CAPITALS!

Other than those three things, THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING AND I CAN'T LOVE IT ENOUGH.

This is the story of Auggie Pullman, a 5th grader with a severe facial deformity, and all the lives he touches. He faces bullying, he faces the involuntary horror of practically everyone who sees him, he faces betrayal, he faces the ordinary hardships that come when your beloved dog gets old and sick, he faces the normal difficulties of middle school, complicated by his face. It made me angry when kids played "Plague" refusing to touch him. It made me hopping mad when the kids at the camp out called him an orc. And yet there's so much good. So much he overcomes. So much reconciliation and forgiveness. So much that changes for the better when Auggie is just himself.

Outside of Auggie, I think I loved Via the best. She made me want to cry. She's had it rough. By default, her own emotional needs often get neglected because Auggie just requires more attention. Yet she doesn't complain. When things are rough for her, she thinks of all Auggie has been through and determines she has no right to complain about what she's going through. When she doesn't want to deal with the way people react to Auggie, she feels terrible. She's had to put up with a lot, being the child who doesn't need as much care. And through it all, she dearly loves her little brother. She loves her parents. She's devoted to her family. She even wants to be a geneticist so she can study why Auggie's face happened. And she's dear to my heart.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has challenges. Everyone has their rough patches. Some people's struggles may be better hidden than Auggie's, but everyone has them, and that's what Wonder shows us. It's a bigger story than just a book about a kid with a severe facial abnormality. It's about kindness. Kindness to all. Pulling together and supporting each other. Friendship. Loyalty.

As Mr. Tushman says at the end, "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 necessary—the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every one of you, the face of God."

"When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind."
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2018 – Started Reading
January 24, 2018 – Shelved
January 28, 2018 – Shelved as: books-i-ve-read-in-2018
January 28, 2018 – Finished Reading

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Morgan I'm planning on it.

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