Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, is a novel that is directed towards a younger audience, so it was definitely an easy read, but the story is one for everyone, and definitely worth looking into. I really enjoyed it, and hope that this review makes you want to read it and love it too!
The plot of this novel is pretty straight forward. It’s about a boy named August Pullman, or Auggie to his friends. Auggie is your average ten year old kid, with a family who loves him, a great personality, a loving spirit, but there’s only one thing that makes him different than the rest: his face. Auggie was born with a facial deformity, and throughout his childhood he has endured many facial reconstruction surgeries, which have kept him from attending a regular school. Until now.
Starting fifth grade is definitely not the hardest thing that Auggie has gone through, but it’s not going to be a piece of cake either! As he walks into Beecher Prep Elementary School, he knows that life isn’t going to be the same as it was before. People have always stared at him, and asked him questions about his face, but on top of all that, he has to try and make friends with those people who barely want to look at him.
At first this seems to be an impossible challenge ̶ the children at school start to play a “game” called the Plague where anyone who touches Auggie has a “disease” and passes it on to others by touching them. Friendship seems hopeless for Auggie until he meets Summer, who genuinely likes Auggie for who he is on the inside, and Jack, who started out as Auggie’s “assigned friend”. When Auggie realizes that Jack is only friends with him because he was told to be, the two “break up” so to speak, and stop being friends for a while. The two are reunited shortly after when Jack stands up for Auggie one day at school.
This story goes through the hardships of living with a visible disability, and in my opinion (of course having never gone through something like this), R. J. Palacio does a great job expressing all of this.
The novel was from the perspective of Auggie, so it was very much like a ten year old boy would speak and/or think. It was cute, and as I said, for a younger audience, but it was a great book in my opinion! Somehow, it reminded me of the movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green that came out last year. Both boys had a kind, innocent heart, and had a secret (or not so secret in Auggie’s case) part of their appearance that made them different.
Loved it! Writing was great, story was fantastic (a must read!), and it was just a great book to read in the summer when you don’t really feel like using your brain too much! Auggie was just a regular kid on the inside, which made it easy to relate to him and understand his feelings. His outlook on life was one that I think many people would find inspiring, just like I did! I give it 4.5/5 Stars.
Reviewed by: Abby S.