Wonder

Wonder

Book rating: 05 Hardback Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

By (author) R J Palacio

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 315 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 208mm x 41mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 14 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375869026
  • ISBN 13: 9780375869020
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 2,277

Product description

The extraordinary #1 "New York Times" bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers now also includes the bestselling short story "The Julian Chapter." "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. " August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 "New York Times" bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy." In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel "a meditation on kindness" --indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder

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Author information

R. J. PALACIO lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. "Wonder" is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

Customer reviews

By mary-anne toy 11 Mar 2012 5

Brilliant, sweet, funny book. Now buying to give to all my friends. Not just for kids.

By Julie Smith 27 Feb 2012 5

What a wonder of a book!

First sentence: I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid.

August (Auggie) is 10-year-old born with a cranio-facial abnormality that, in spite of who he is inside, makes him stand out in a crowd.

This is the story of his first year in school, told in the first person through various viewpoints - Auggie, his sister Olivia(Via), her boyfriend Justin, her friend Miranda, and Auggie's friends Jack and Summer.

I love how this story is told in a realistic, "that's just the way it is" fashion - even Via, who is a teenager, pretty much rolls with the fact that most of the attention goes to Auggie - with all of the surgeries that he has had, that's just to be expected. She's always stuck up for him, and never, until this first year of her going to a new high school, felt at all ashamed of his appearance.

Auggie? Well, he's just a great kid - a Star Wars fan, an XBox-playing, joke-making, pretty smart little dude who loves his family and their dog Daisy, bought off of a homeless guy for $20 by Auggie's father. He has a loving and imperfect family, he doesn't feel sorry for himself (much), and seeing the world through his eyes made this reader even more grateful and appreciative.

Of course we run into the casually (and not so casually) cruel kids and adults, but Auggie, who wasn't too keen on the idea of going to school, manages to make some friends, and, if he doesn't blend in, at least people get used to him. Then a boy he thought was his friend seems to turn against him, and we all feel the hurt. Another boy starts a bullying campaign, and here is where we see Auggie's true strength come to the fore. His friendships are tested, and his friends make the reader proud.

At the end of this book, and throughout the last pages, I was wiping away tears, the kind of tears inspired by hope and a touch of the happy.

This book is geared to middle readers (8-12 years old), but is definitely one that everyone should read. Teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and even adults - pick this one up - you will love it as much as I did.

And you will LOVE Auggie! This one will definitely be showing up on my "Best of" list for 2012; it's a winner all around.

QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy):

Auggie: I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kid run away screaming in playgrounds.

Auggie: I think it's like the Cheese Touch in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". The kids in that story were afraid they'd catch the cooties if they touched the old moldy cheese on the basketball court. At Beecher Prep, I'm the old moldy cheese.

Summer: So I just went over and sat with him. Not a biggie. I wish people would stop trying to turn it into something major.
He's just a kid. The weirdest-looking kid I've ever seen, yes. But just a kid.

Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

Review quote

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2011: "A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder." Starred Review, Booklist, February 1, 2012: "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." Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 2012: "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."" ""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 t