Friday, April 12, 2013


Written By R.J. Palacio
Original Publication Date: 2012

Rating: 4 Stars

Favorite Quotes:
"the universe takes care of all its birds."

"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world. "

What do you do when you see someone with a deformity, a missing limb, a physical disorder, or really, anything that's considered "not normal"?  Do you stare?  Do you look away?  Do you glance away and then look back, pretending that everything is "normal" and you're not bothered?   Do you tease and mock?  Do you cringe?  Do you feel badly that you're looking at that person differently?  We all do it.  When we're confronted with a person's appearance that is less-than-average, we panic.  We don't know what to do.  We don't know how to approach that person because we can only assume that their less-than-average appearance makes them a less-than-average kind of person that needs to be treated differently.  It's a twisted part of our human nature.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity, though that's an understatement of grand proportions.  He's looked at differently every day.  People treat him like a porcelain doll.  People even scream, when startled by his appearance.  He says he's used to it, but can anyone ever really be used to that sort of treatment?

Up until the fifth grade he's been kept out of school.  His mother has homeschooled him because of the multitude of surgeries that he goes through to make his face more functional, firstly, and slightly more average, secondly.  For the fifth grade, he gets sent to Beecher Prep, a private school in the city.

Remember what it's like being the new kid in a new school?  Remember how you looked at the new kid in your school?  Remember how they were treated?  Now imagine going through that every single day for a year, because every time you meet someone new, you are always considered the freak: always.

Wonder is a remarkable story of growth.  The perspective switches between Auggie, his sister, and various other friends of the kids.  The growth can be seen in all the perspectives, by all the kids.  This is not only the story of how one deformed kid is grown to be accepted by his peers, but the story of how a group of kids grows to accept the strange and different in their worlds.