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Wonder

Posted on Feb 27, 2012

R.J. Palacio
(Bodley Head)

August Pullman is a bright, happy ten-year-old who until now has been home-schooled by his parents, in an attempt to protect him from people’s cruel reactions to his facial abnormalities. But now he is starting school for the first time at Beecher Prep and he is petrified. Will people accept him as he is? Will he be able to make friends and finds his own place in the world? We hear Auggie’s story from his perspective as well as some of those closest to him, including big sister Via and new friends Jack and Summer, and through their eyes we witness his stepping into the world and dealing with the overwhelming reaction to his extraordinary face, and the effect it has on the rest of his family.

You know the type of books that leaves you feeling a little bit more hopeful for human kind, and that you can’t help yourself hugging once you have turned the final page? Wonder is one of those books. It is heart wrenching and heartwarming, bleak and hopeful, cruel and kind, all at the same time. It is also funny in the most moving way. Wonder is hard to read at times; you find yourself wanting to protect August from the terrible bullying, the unforgivable and cruel things done and said to him, both by adults and children. But August’s resilience is a force to be reckoned with and readers will find themselves feeling their spirits utterly uplifted by his attitude towards life.

Wonder could have been a very dark book indeed. Instead it is a book full of hope, about acceptance, about growing empathy and unconditional love. It made me feel really grateful for my family, but also left me in awe of this little boy with such an aura, and such courage. It also left me in tears, many times.

Read Wonder and you will find yourself on an emotional roller coaster you will not want to get off.

Read Wonder and you will find yourself looking at a brighter world, even if it is only for a minute. 

Just read it.

Many thanks to Random House Children’s Books for sending me a review copy of “Wonder”.

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