Title: WonderAuthor: R J PalacioPublisher: Bodley HeadPublication Date: 1 Mar 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
GUEST REVIEW BY STEF OF STEFFIKINS
Thank you so much to Emma for letting me not only read this but guest review it for her!
I wasn’t sure if Wonder was going to be as good as I hoped...I felt it was either going to be too sad with lots of crying and heartbreak, or they would skirt around the problems and make it too funny. However R.J. Palacio got the perfect balance and also managed to write from the point of view of a young boy and make it believable.
The Characters were so real, each had their own personality, and own point of view on the events unfolding. Of course my favourite character has to be Auggie. He was such a brave kid and I was torn between giving him a massive hug and cheering him on as he was doing so brilliant by himself! R.J.Palacio has done a brilliant job of capturing the mindset of young children and how they react to difference, some embrace the difference and others do not. The part about Halloween was the biggest show of children and how they can actually be when adults are not around (tissue alert).
Even though I have just stated Auggie was my favourite, all the other characters come a close second! Via, his sister, is such a strong little girl it is amazing. So is Summer...I started laughing when Summer was telling her parents what to do and how to behave. However the characters are brilliant because the story switched points of view. I have to say the majority of the time, I love books that switch point-of-view...I am very much a person who likes to see the different interpretations and the different situations that lead someone to make those decisions, and Wonder did not fail.
I do think that if we had not seen the other points of view, it would not be the book I have fallen in love with. The characters grew so much in my mind when we saw them individually and in a sense go to see their side of the story.
Each character had their own personality that came through the writing and stood out from the others. Justin’s story, after he met Auggie for the first time, was written in a different style and at first this confused me (I had been reading non-stop for an hour by this point...) but reflecting on it, the change really made his section as it felt more like the writings of a teenage boy.
Believe me when I say have a box of tissues on stand by...Every time Auggie cried, I cried...and this lead to one point where I didn’t even realise I was crying until it was pointed out to me. This is mainly due to the constant use of first person narrative, another favourite of mine, which always makes everything feel more real and emotive.
Wonder is an amazing book, and I don’t feel I can advise what age it should be for...possibly for 13 + but I don’t feel like there is an age too old to read such an amazing book. Wonder is released next month, and I advise people to read this.