Wonder – Book Review

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 out of 5 Stars

“Horrified. Sickened. Scared. Thankfully, that only lasted for a second: the moment I heard August laugh his raspy little laugh, it was over. Everything was back the way it had been before. But it had opened a door for me. A little peephole. And on the other side of the peephole there were two Augusts: the one I saw blindly, and the one other people saw.”

Overview

This book was recommended to me by my mother-in-law, and I am so glad she let me borrow her copy because I absolutely loved Wonder. I was afraid it was going to be too sad, and there are some definite sad parts in this story, but mainly it is a tale of how kindness and friendship can really work together to transform people.

August Pullman is a little boy living in New York City with his parents, sister Via, and their family dog Daisy. He loves Star Wars, video games, and reading. He is an “ordinary” boy in every way except one: he was born with mandibulofacial dysostosis which caused a significant facial deformity. As you can imagine, he has had a lot of medical issues and surgeries and struggles severely in social situations. People stare in shock, run away scared, and even mock him because of his face. Sadly, he is used to these reactions, but that doesn’t make his life any easier.

When August decides to begin school for the very first time, he is understandably nervous. How will he like middle school at Beecher Prep? Will he make any friends? What will the kids think of his face?

Pet Peeves

Please be aware that this will be a SIGNIFICANT spoiler, but (view spoiler)

I obviously rated this book five stars because I didn’t really have any actual pet peeves. I have seen some criticism about the story not being realistic, but I disagree. August meets with a lot of resistance when he first starts Beecher Prep. He’s made fun of behind his back, gossiped over, ostracized, and glossed over by his peers. As events unfold, he slowly but surely gains true friends and conquers his fears.

Praise

The writing style, narration, humor, story-telling, character personalities, and pacing are all top notch. I love how seamlessly R.J. Palacio melds the narratives of August, Via, Summer, Jack, Justin, and Miranda all into one perfect story-line. It was amazing to read the different perspectives of these vastly different characters on events that they all experienced. This gave a real depth and meaning to the reader’s understanding of their situations. For instance, I loved how you could read from Jack’s point of view about his friendship with August, after you had already read about it from August’s point of view.

I fell in love with this charming, heart-wrenching, enchanting tale of wonder.

Final Thought

I believe anyone with a heart will enjoy this book that highlights the wondrous work that a little kindness and understanding can do to change the hearts of mankind.

View all my reviews

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