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Wonder


Wonder
By R.J. Palacio
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012
Audience: Tweens/Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

This book was as fabulous as I've heard it was. It really made me feel something. These characters felt like family to me. I thought the author did a great job describing how kids would really act. During some parts, I got so incredibly sad, but the characters who were having problems handled them with grace, maturity, and wisdom beyond their years. I was so proud of all of them.

You know, I was especially proud of Auggie for sticking with middle school... But at the end, after finishing the book, all I could think about was how thousands of kids go to school each day and experience the same sort of ridicule and don't get recognized for their bravery and courage. 

Not all kids have that kind of support as time goes on, but I wish they did.

As far as the people surrounding Auggie go, I think that was portrayed realistically also. It wasn't overdramatic or pitiful. I didn't feel sorry for anyone in this book, which is good. I don't think that the author wanted us to feel pity for anyone. I think she wanted us to see how strong everyone was, and it worked. No one was especially bratty, either. (With the exception of one -- but we aren't supposed to like him.)

It kind of reminded me of Remember the Titans. At first, there is major tension, and it gets worse before it gets better. In the end, everyone comes around except for that one stubborn person.

And that person - that's the one that the reader pities, because you know he's missing out on knowing someone WONDERful. And that's his loss.

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