Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that has kept him homeschooled, until now. At Beecher Prep Auggie will be both a student and a teacher as he navigates his way through the difficulties of fifth grade made more difficult by being different.
This book is often classified as a middle grade novel, but it is one of those rare middle grade novels that people of all ages should read. The messages are both heavy handed and subtle, and I believe that everyone could learn something from this novel. I know I certainly did.
The characters in Wonder are some of the most realistic I’ve ever encountered. As the story moves forward we get to see through the eyes of several different characters (but not in a chapter by chapter switch, so if you have difficulty with changing perspectives, you should be okay with the set up of this novel). This change in perspective not only deepens the reality of the story, but of the characters themselves. I do not know how R. J. Palacio managed to get into the heads of several people of different backgrounds, ages, sexes, and situations, but I take my hat off to her and cry BRAVA!
As far as emotions go, this book is a rollercoaster. There were times I actually laughed out loud. There were other times that I was forced to read through tears à la TFIOS. The connections I made to these characters made their accomplishments feel like my accomplishments, made their losses feel like my losses. Guys, this is not a book you come across every day. Read it immediately.
Books with similar aspects
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
recommended to people of all ages looking for a realistic and touching contemporary
not recommended to readers who prefer plot over characterization
Don’t just take my word for it!
“The overall message of Wonder is one that really resonates with me and I think will resonate with other readers.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine
“…this book made me feel a lot better after reading it. A little bit more whole, even. With a stronger resolve to be kinder than necessary. I think that a book that can make its readers feel like that is worth a second glance.” – One More Page
“I want to stand and applaud everyone but especially RJ Palacio for writing such an amazing story.” – Teach Mentor Texts