My Thoughts on R.J. Palacio, Wonder

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Wonder is a middle grade novel about a boy with an extremely rare genetic disorder affecting his face. In fact, his appearance is so shocking, that his mother has been protecting him his whole life from the reactions of the outside world.  His name is Auggie, and he has been homeschooled up until the fifth grade, but is about to embark on his first year at school.  On his first day visiting his new school, he learns that several students have been assigned to help him navigate this  new world.  The story tells about, not only Auggie's adjustments to his new school during his first year, but also how his classmates learn to adjust, and even to befriend someone who is so different, and thus initially frightening. 

The book is told from Auggie's perspective, but also from the perspectives of those around him:  his sister Via, her boyfriend Justin, Auggie's friend Jack and so on.  The shifting perspectives didn't bother me a bit, because it really added to the narrative to see how those around Auggie were both constantly aware of him, and totally involved in their own universes.  All of the characters are likeable, and I think that Palacio does an excellent job of capturing a variety of honest and human behaviors and emotions.  She also doesn't place Auggie on a pedestal; he has faults, just like everyone else.

I definitely cried while reading Wonder, and laughed.  I thought it was a wonderful book about friendship, and growth, and tolerance.  Highly recommended.

Title: Wonder
Author: R. J. Palacio
Publisher: Borzoi Books
Date: 2012
Genre: Middle Grade

313  pages.
Where I got it: Public Library
Challenges: None


  1. I've been hearing quite a bit about this book lately, despite being published so many months ago.


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