Wonder by R.J. PalacioReviewed by Aimee
Language: There were a handful of exclamations involving Deity and some instances of kids saying mean things and name calling.
Violence: Some kids get in a fight. There is some pushing and hitting.
Sexual Content: A couple of teenagers kiss.
Adult Themes: A girl talks about her parents being divorced. She also says she smoked cigarettes at a summer camp. There is another reference to kids smoking.
Auggie Pullman is a ten year old boy who loves Star Wars and the X-box. He has a dog named Daisy and a sister name Olivia. As normal as all of that may seem, Auggie’s life has been anything but normal. Auggie was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Surgeries and medical problems have occupied most of his young life, but now Auggie is ready to start fifth grade at Beecher Prep. All he wants is to be treated like a normal kid, but his classmates are having a hard time seeing the real Auggie beneath his face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
This book hit close to home in many ways for me. I have a young daughter with a condition that affects her cheek, jaw and neck areas. Even though she experiences nowhere near the challenges of Auggie and the many “real” kids who deal with similar struggles, it has brought about many similar feelings and experiences for us. My heart just filled up reading this book. I’m so grateful to R.J. Palacio for writing a book that can help people of all ages understand better. Understanding brings about compassion and empathy. This book is written for ages 8 and up. I think this is a great book that parents can read with their children. It brings up all kinds of great discussion topics. I really appreciated some of the humor as well. There was one part I literally laughed out loud. There were so many cool quotes in this book that I wrote down as I was taking notes.
“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” Blaise Pascal
“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.” Henry Ward Beecher
“Sometimes you don’t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone.”
“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (this one is going up in my house)