18. June 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Wonder by R.J. Palacio, 313 pages, read by Angie, on 06/15/2012

Auggie Pullman has been homeschooled his entire life, but he is now going to be going to fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Auggie is not like the other new kids at school; sure he is smart, he wears the same kinds of clothes, and he likes the same kinds of things as the other kids, but Auggie looks different. Auggie has had over 20 operations on his face to make it more “normal” but it is never going to look like the other kids. He has been called freak, freddy kruger, told his face has melted and lots of other mean things. Will he ever make friends at school? will he ever have a normal life?

Auggie pulls at your heartstrings. His story is touching, heart-warming, sad, joyful, makes you want to cry; I could go on and on. He is such a little trooper through everything he goes through in this book. You can imagine the horror he has to face every day just trying to fit into a world that doesn’t accept him. I think this is a good story about bullying and seeing the good in others and accepting people for who they are not what they look like. The book has a great message.

The book is told not just through Auggie’s voice but through the voices of those around him. We hear from his sister, his friends, her friends, etc. Some of these work better than others and some seem pointless, but they all show what life is like around Auggie. It is not easy for anyone.

I guess my one nitpick of this story is that it is almost to simplified. This is almost a fairytale version of what someone in Auggie’s situation would go through. We do see the hardship and the bullying, but then things turn around and he has his happily ever after kind of moment. Doesn’t make it a bad book (because it isn’t); I just think it simplified things way down. Still the book is a delight to read and I would definitely recommend it.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at PLA 2012. Thank you!

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