fiction favorites…Wonder

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid.  I mean, sure, I do ordinary things.  I eat ice cream.  I ride my bike.  I play ball.  I have an XBox.  Stuff like that makes me ordinary.  I guess.  And I feel ordinary.  Inside.  But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds.  I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.
If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all.  I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-away thing…
My name is August, by the way.  I won’t describe what I look like.  Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman is an extraordinary kid, no matter what he thinks.  Born with a severe facial deformity, August has undergone numerous surgeries, and endured countless heartbreaking interactions, in his first decade of life.  Homeschooled due to his frequent hospital stays, August is now being sent to join his 5th grade peers in middle school.  A nervewracking time for anyone.  But for Auggie,   it’s almost unbearable.

R.J. Palacio has written this riveting, honest account of Auggie’s first full year in school –at times intensely painful, yet often refreshingly lighthearted; always gutsy and thought-provoking; surprisingly upbeat, and deeply moving.  The story traces Auggie’s friendships with classmates who face their own set of challenges in learning to accept and befriend this boy whose outside and inside are so

To find out what Boba Fett has to do with this'll have to read it!

utterly at odds.  Written from a variety of points-of-view, we see life through Auggie’s eyes, as well as his older sister’s, and several friends’.  Palacio handles each one brilliantly.  Her characterizations are distinct; their voices ring true.

I don’t often cry over books, but I was moved to tears several times in Wonder.  Palacio dives right in to tackle the  fears and guilt  that plague Auggie, his family, and friends.  Her characters wrestle with big questions about life and death,our purpose in living, courage, loyalty, and above all kindness.  They inspire us to be “kinder than necessary.”  And that’s a very good aim for us all.

New this year, I expect this to receive awards.  I’d recommend it for ages 12 and up; a few years younger for strong readers or reading aloud.

Here’s the Amazon link:Wonder