Winner of the BookBrowse 2012 Best Book for Younger Readers Award
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.
Wonder rings its bell, and the note that reverberates in the air slips effortlessly into the reader's body. It hangs there, and the reader can't help but be changed. It is a meditation of a novel. A story that asks the reader to feel her way into kindness, empathy, and openness. And without a doubt, the reader, upon experiencing it, responds with a deep, resounding yes. Wonder is recommended for middle grade and young adult readers. It is a perfect book to open up discussions between students or book club members. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
Starred Review. A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.
Starred Review. Palacio makes it feel not only effortless but downright graceful, and by the stand-up-and-cheer conclusion, readers will be doing just that, and feeling as if they are part of this troubled but ultimately warm-hearted community.
School Library Journal
Starred Review. Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the middle school students. This is a fast read and would be a great discussion starter about love, support, and judging people on their appearance. A well-written, thought-provoking book.
Starred Review. Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes - and hearts - to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd. Ages 8–12.
The London Times
The breakout publishing sensation of 2012 will come courtesy of Palacio [and] is destined to go the way of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and then some.
Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender, Before We Were Free, Finding Miracles, and the Tia Lola Stories Wonder is a book with such a big wide heart - it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer!
Tom Angleberger, author of the New York Times bestseller The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
This really is a remarkable book!
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by M Markham All my students loved it! Today I just finished reading the last few pages of Wonder to my 2 classes of sixth graders. I read it aloud over the last several weeks and honestly, every single one of my students loved it and begged me to keep reading each day when time was up.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Beth Amazing Book! I loved this book. It is simple yet profound. It is about a wise and funny 5th grader who looks very different from anyone else he knows, and how others react to him, and how he feels about.... everything. It is just beautiful. It would be a... Read More
This is Auggie's statement on page one of Wonder about the appearance of his face. R.J. Palacio (whose real name is Raquel Jaramillo... Palacio is her mother's last name) makes a very conscious choice not to explore Auggie's disfigurement head-on, and I think it's a good one. Instead, she allows the reader to create her own images and then, very slowly and from a slanted sort of angle, Palacio gives details. Because at the heart of issue is, well, Auggie's heart, and that is all that matters.
I don't want to dishonor Palacio's choice, but I will give you a bit of information about Auggie's condition. He has something called Mandibulofacial Dysostosis, which is more typically known as Treacher Collins Syndrome (after famous British ophthalmologist Edward Treacher Collins who recorded the description of this syndrome in a paper in 1900.) It is a hereditary condition caused by a defective protein called treacle. It affects approximately one in 50,000 births. Its symptoms and characteristics vary...
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