Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wonder by R.J. Palacio Review

Name: Wonder
Authors: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Buy the book on Amazon
315 pages

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.


My Review:

I saw this book online and in bookstores for quite some time before I actually read it. I thought it looked intriguing, but I had no true interest in reading it, mainly because I haven’t been into most middle-grade fiction lately. However, when it was finally recommended to me by a family friend, I knew I would have to read it. And boy was I glad that I did.

Wonder is just like the title: it’s a wonderful book. Kids can be mean, everyone knows that. Some kids are mean on purpose, and others just don’t know how not to say what they’re thinking. In this fantastic and inspiring book, fifth grader August Pullman has a facial deformity that, he claims, is much worse than you can ever imagine. When he finally goes to a real school, not every kid is nice to him, mostly just because they refuse to get to know him. Obviously, these kids have never heard the phrase “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.”

This book was told from many different refreshing perspectives: August Pullman, his sister, his two best friends, his sister’s best friend, and his sister’s boyfriend. The reader was able to get a full glimpse into August’s world, both from his point of view and from the point of views of those around him. It was heartbreaking to read how some of his fellow classmates treated poor August, but at the same time, the readers are able to see the good that is inherent in people, even if it’s buried deep under the social norms that constrict them.

In my opinion, the best part of the book was Palacio’s wonderful ability to make one sentence hilariously funny, and the next hauntingly sad. August went through a lot of difficult situations during his first year at a real school, and the readers of this book are able to experience both the happy times and the sad right by his side. It was really wonderful to read. This may be a middle-grade book, but there is really no age limit on who would like this book. Adults and kids alike should read Palacio’s Wonder and experience the uplifting magic that this book contains.

My Rating:


  1. I just read this one as well in fell in love with the story.

  2. God, I haven't read a middle grade book since forever. . . the first book of Dork Diaries. Seems hilarious & would be cool to see how the author takes on multiple povs. thanks!


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