Wonder by RJ Palacio

Trigger Warnings: Bullying, suicidal jokes

SynopsisI won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. 

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

Review: This is one of those books that I've had for awhile, but I've been putting it off. I knew it was going to be a tough one for me to get through. First off, I really enjoyed Auggie. I appreciated how self-aware he was. He knew that people were making fun of him or staring at him, and he was honest with himself. I thought this was great and I related to it a lot. I'm not pretty. I don't have facial defects like Auggie, but I'm not what society sees as attractive. That's fine. I've known that my entire life. Similar to Auggie, I've had people try to sugarcoat growing up. "You're not ugly" or "It's what's inside that counts" were very common phrases. Auggie puts up with this too. Maybe it's because of our similar pasts, but I found him surprisingly easy to relate to. He also made me think a lot of a kid I grew up with who had his legs smashed when he was young, so he always had to walk with leg braces. He ended up being one of the most kind, smart kids I ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The story was cute. I don't know why, but I was expecting it to be a sad book.I'm a bit torn on how I feel about the shifting of perspectives. It gives us a more rounded view of Auggie's life, and it showed us how loved this kid is. At the same time, none of the perspectives felt really unique except for Auggie's. Maybe it's because some of the sections were really short so we didn't get to spend a whole lot of time in some of the characters' heads. It was still interesting though. I'm glad the story wasn't sad. There was a fair amount of bullying, but none of it felt overwhelming. As someone who was bullied a lot growing up, my heart went out to Auggie. He was a strong character and it was a joy to read. There were some sad bits in the story, but overall the book was heartwarming.

Cute, touching book with some great messages.

4 howls