Wonder by R.J. Palacio, YR, 2012, 320p, Hardcover, My Rating=5
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.
I came into this book with anxiety so the read felt drawn-out. See, the only thing I had to go on about this book was the word, "bully", from a friend's book review while browsing my Goodreads friends' updates. I didn't read his review but that word caught my eye and the next thing I knew I was checking out the book from the library. I was anticipating a very harsh roughhousing (prior to a happy ending) and that made for a tense read. How crazy am I? Anyway, I'm glad Julian or others didn't beat August to a pulp like my crazy head was fearful of. Instead Ms Palacio truly humanized and embraced the wonderment of perspective. Through the point-of-views of several characters, I, the reader got the whole story. I learned most because I was in everyone's thoughts and I had all the lessons to take away. By book's end I was in tears ..both from relief of my anxiety and the powerful lesson of the beauty of kindness. Never fails, stories about good people being good to other people gets me all the time!
"But really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other." pg. 279
"And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God." pg 301