- Published: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
- Year Published: 2012
- Description: 315 p.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Lexile: 790
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Call number: Y Fiction
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Reviews & Summaries
For the most part, I liked Wonder. I thought Palacio did a great job of making Auggie seem like a very normal, average boy with the exception of his physical different-ness. His voice feels very authentic, and I love that he loves Star Wars. I also liked the chapters told from his sister Via's point of view, but I thought the other POVs pulled the focus off of Auggie (I am reading this book for his story, after all!)
The book lost me is at the very end, where the conclusion was overly sentimental, basically undoing all the good will it had been building over the course of the story. I can't say too much without giving away what happens, but I will say that I was disappointed in it.
Palacio uses many voices to tell Auggie’s story, and it works because she does it well. In a soft, subtle, but definite shift, she creates a montage-effect with each voice leaving the story a little bit further ahead than where the last person left off. More than her story-telling skill, I appreciated the “message” of the book. Choose kind. See humanity in the world around you. Choose to be more than kind sometimes, go out of your way to do it. I just watched the viral video of some middle school kids bullying a bus monitor yesterday, so this message renewed some of my hope. People really can be kind. The deal is, though, that sometimes this type of message gets schmaltzy and downright preachy, so it’s easy for readers to tune it out. I think that’s where this book will differ. Just when it’s getting too preachy, the voices change and the narrative barrels forward.
If you liked MOCKINGBIRD, SO B. IT, or any other novel that teaches us how to get along, you'll love WONDER.
Rating: 5 tissues.
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