Monday, October 27, 2014

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Review by Lauren

Source: library copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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?

Review: This is a middle grade book that I've wanted to read for a long time, so I was excited to see that I was assigned to do so for my children's literature class. While the book might be labeled as MG since Auggie is in the 5th grade, that doesn't mean that adults can't read this book and get a lot out of it. It focuses on a lot of important topics about friendship, love, and being kind to others.

I loved that the book is told in first-person point of view, mostly following Auggie because it allows you to get inside his head. You know how feels about his face and what he thinks when other people scurry past him, afraid to even touch his skin. However, the book is also in the first-person point of view of other important characters too. You get thoughts from Via (Auggie's older sister), Jack (a classmate of Auggie's) and more. Like I said, most of the book is Auggie's point of view, but the entire story isn't all about him. It's also about the people he affects, in good and bad ways. Auggie is the sun, and the other characters are the planets who orbit him.


I do think that the ending is wrapped up nicely in a lot of ways, which is a bit unrealistic. Some of the things that happen could have occurred and the outcome probably would have been the same, but in real life, the odds of these things all happening are pretty slim. It still works though, because the whole book is a journey and a struggle for Auggie to accept himself more than anything. He has to learn how to walk with his head held high, instead of hiding beneath his hair or an old astronaut helmet. In the end, Auggie has to learn what everyone does; the world might be a scary place, but the people you love will always make things better, so keep them close.

17 comments:

Melliane said...

Even if the end is not really realistic, it sounds like an interesting book to discover. I heard a lot about it.

Glass said...

I've heard a lot about this book, but I still haven't read it. I'm glad that you liked it. To be honest, I am bit afraid to read it - this kind of reads make sad. :(
Great review.

Erika Sorocco said...

I've looked at this book so many times when I'm shopping, but have never purchased - it sounds interesting; somewhat reminiscent of Louis Sachar's Someday, Angeline.

xx

Kindlemom said...

Even though the ending was somewhat unrealistic is does sound like this was a great read and worth the time to take the chance on.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I don't totally remember the ending but I know that I liked this book and I think that all younger readers shoudl read it. I am glad you liked it as well.

Krysten Quiles said...

This sounds really eye opening!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sounds interesting to get inside his head and figure out what was going on

Zoe N. said...

I loved this one too Lauren! Such an inspiring and well-written story, and Auggie was such a fabulous protagonist.

Angela's Anxious Life said...

I have been wanting to read this for a long time now. Just haven't got around to it. I like the idea behind the story. That people you love are important.

Liviania said...

I still need to read this one. Too bad no one will assign it to me!

cleemckenzie said...

I loved this book. It should be required reading so when that "unique" kid shows up in a classroom, kids will have some understanding.

Keertana said...

I've been hearing so much about this book so I really need to just pick it up already. Sorry to hear the ending was unrealistic (but I guess maybe it's MG so that's the reason?) but glad to hear you enjoyed it overall. Wonderful review!(:

Aylee said...

Aww, lovely, love the message there. This one has been on my TBR for a long while, as well, so I should really get to it already!

Alise (Readers In Wonderland) said...

I've always 'wondered' about this book, pun intended ;) Glad you liked it, the ending moral is really nice.

Diva Booknerd said...

I've seen this one around what seems like forever, I think it's time I grab a copy. It sounds so incredibly sad, and I can already see by your review that Auggie will ultimately break my heart. It reminds me a little of Marco Impossible, that touches on the same topics of acceptance and facing bullies and adversity. Maybe give that one a go, I think you'll enjoy it.

Fabulous review. Going to grab a copy now <3

Andrea Thompson said...

Oh I love the message in this. I'm going to recommend this to my son. Thanks for the review!

GABY said...

I'm curious about this book even when the end is not realistic, but everyone talks about it!