Monday, March 25, 2013

Wonder by RJ Palacio

By RJ Palacio
Published by Random House Children’s Books, 2012
320 pages (hardcover)

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity 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. (from

I have heard great things about this book, though it took me a while to get around to reading it. The premise just seemed… uncomfortable. But March 6, 2013 was the annual Spread the Word to End the Word* day AND I had just finished another book, so I picked Wonder up. Wow. I seriously wish everyone at UMS could read this book. It does an amazing job of bringing to light and raising issues that those with mental and physical problems face, as well as those who love them.

What was most interesting, is that although we get to hear Auggie’s point of view, we also get to hear and understand where his family and friends are coming from. Wonder kindly shows that no one is perfect, but we can all be compassionate and not assume the worst about others. I thought that this book might be a sad guilt-trip, but instead it was inspiring and sweet. I am so glad I bought quite a few copies of this book because students are already begging to read it.

UMS Staff working to Stomp Out the R-Word!

*Auggie is not a special needs student. However, he is often assumed to be because of his physical appearance.

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