Short Description for Wonder Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie Pullman is shy, bright ten-year-old who has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it.
- Published: 01 March 2012
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780370332291 ISBN 10: 0370332296
- Sales rank: 7,502
Reviews for Wonder
Take the good with the bad
This promising story failed to deliver what I felt it could have, dealing, as it was, with a hard-hitting and edgy subject. August, a severely deformed student (in a society that so worships beauty) enters school for the first time, and faces some of the reactions one might expect under these circumstances.
The problems I had with the story were:
- The story is told by August, his sister Via, his friend Jack, and Via's boyfriend Justin, yet the characters' voices were all very similar.
- The characters were largely one-dimensional and this detracted from the emotional impact that more realistic portrayals could have achieved.
- August's parents were practically saints.
- The dialogue often did not ring true.
- Some happenings were too bizarre to be believable. For example, the school principal sends an email to parents of a child who has been assaulted, and in this message he launches into character praise of the responsible child.
- The ending tied everything up far too neatly.
The biggest problem I had with the story structure was the way conflicts were almost glossed over. There was far too little shown of what August (and even Jack) went through during periods of adversity and shunning. This was a significant missed opportunity.
In my opinion, a story that is meant to offer an honest depiction of life as a deformed child owes more to the reader than pat resolutions on all fronts, with the lone remaining bad guy neatly removed, and everyone else living happily ever after.
Despite all of that, I did enjoy much about "Wonder" and was entertained enough to read through to the end. Younger readers will undoubtedly find far less to fault in this story, and may well benefit from seeing the world through the experiences of someone like August. If it can help make young readers into kinder, more thoughtful people, then all of this book's shortcomings can be easily forgiven. by Valerie Sherrard