Date Started: 3/12/17
Date finished: 3/14/17
For #s 37 and 42 for POPSUGAR Reading challenge: A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 and A bestseller from 2016
Wonder by R.J. Palacio haunted me in the same way The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time did except instead of co-workers signing its praises, it was the reviewers. For a while, it seemed to be thrown in my face at every angle. I went into reading the novel with the mindset it will be bad. Usually, I feel like if a book is really really popular that sometimes the goodness of the book has been hyped up when it didn’t deserve it. While reading it, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed. I could not put it down!
This heartwarming story follows August “Auggie” Pullman, a ten year old boy with a rare medical deformity. Because of his numerous surgeries, Auggie has been home schooled by his mother. At the beginning of 5th grade, his parents enroll him into Beacher Prep. His enrollment is the first time he goes to school in his life. Over the course of the book, Auggie, his family, classmates, teachers, and friends adjust to these new circumstances. A good portion of the kids are jerks to Auggie and make rude comments about him. However, towards the end of the novel, the kids realize that beauty is sometimes not skin deep and realize that Auggie is really just a kid like them albeit looks a little differently.
I applaud Palacio for handling the subject matter she set out to work with in a positive and compassionate view and doubly so for writing it for a younger audience. She gives me some faith in humanity and the kindness of others. Side note: I am a highly skeptical person when it comes to human interactions so this is a big deal for me to even admit. Even though, Auggie is “different” than the other children, most of the book is comprised of him and the other teen characters struggling with typical “teen” problems. I found this to help flesh out the characters and their motivations in a more realistic fashion. Palacio could have easily been distracted by focusing too much of the narrative on his physical deformities. A combination of the teen problems and even adding other characters narratives changes the dynamic of the novel to one of inspiration and not backing down in the face of adversity.