Wonder by R.J. Palacio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes you come across a book, and it's one that you hope everyone will read; because really, everyone should read it. R.J. Palacio's Wonder is one of those books.
Unlike the Great Gatsby, a "classic," you don't read Wonder for the symbolism and plethora of literary tools (I actually don't really understand why we force it upon high school students). Instead, you read Wonder because it's about kindness and appreciation - two things from which this all humans would benefit.
Wonder centers around August Pullman, a fifth grader with a facial deformity that kept him from going to school. The story is told from the point of view of several young people - mainly fifth graders, but a couple of high school students as well. It's not all heavy. There's some laughter in there, and there's determination and resilience.
There's also a clarity that comes with children and their perception. This is actually my favorite part of the book. Kids see and understand more than we adults think they do, and I like how Palacio captures this in her story.
So, go get this one and read it. If you have kids, read it with them, and talk about the book. There's great lessons to be learned - especially if you wonder what you would have done had you been August's parents, and what you would do, had you been August or his sister, Via. But most of all, remember this book. Remember it when you're having a tough time. Remember it when you meet someone different.
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