Publication Date: 02/14/2012
Themes: Self-Acceptance, Self-Esteem, Physical Appearance, Special Needs
Age: 8-12 years old
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.
This extraordinary book makes you see the world differently.
R.J. Palacio's debut novel, told through six different first-person narratives, forms a composite of what life is like for, and because of, 10-year-old August Pullman. A rare genetic perfect storm "made war on his face," as Auggie's sister, Via, puts it. Via loves her brother, but she is also a realist. So is Auggie, as he makes plain in his own words on the first page, "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." Their bond forms the foundation of this inspiring story.
The book follows Auggie through fifth grade, when he enters school for the first time at Beecher Prep, and Via as she starts at the prestigious Faulkner High School. We watch the changing dynamics as the two siblings both experience friends who betray them and perceived enemies won over to their side.
Auggie's presence in people's lives acts as a catalyst to bring them face to face with themselves. If they look deep enough, they find humor, courage and friendship.