Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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.

Release Date:  February 14, 2012
Age Group:  MG/YA
Publisher:  Knopf books
Source:  NetGalley

I saw this book on NetGalley and wasn't sure if I should request it or not.  I was afraid it would be overwhelmingly sad, and I like to keep my reading happy and light.  But, just from reading the summary, I had to know more about August and his story and decided to request the book.

And I'm so glad I did, because Wonder was an excellent read.  It is told from several points-of-view, which I love because I really got to know several of the characters.  I loved reading about the same events from different points-of-view.  It's neat to see how different people view the same event.  Everyone has their own interpretation of things.

Wonder answers the question: how does it feel to be the person other people stare at?  The one that causes people do a double-take when they see you?  Everyone has probably seen someone different and looked twice, or looked from the corner of their eye (to keep from staring).  August catches all of these looks, as well as ugly comments, and nothing escapes his notice.  To see how much people's reactions affect August and his family was truly heart-breaking.    

I went from laughing on one page to crying on the next, this book was that emotional.  I was in awe of August's strength of character and unfailing positive outlook (as well as his parents').

I thought that Wonder would feel very young, since it is written mainly from a 10-year-old's point of view, but it did not.  August is mature for his age and his voice was sometimes young, but sometimes much older than a 10 year-old's should be.  He has to grow up fast due to his abnormalities and his narrative voice reflects that.

The book ends on a positive note, although that did not stop me from crying yet again, just due to how emotional the book was on the whole.  I loved it and think everyone should read about August!


  1. Oh wow. Sounds really good. Great review.

  2. Definitely sounds like a book that I'd really enjoy. Definitely adding this one to my tbr pile. Thanks, Kelli!

  3. Sounds like a great read. Loved your review. You are such a great writer. Love coming on here and seeing what you ladies have been up to. :)


  4. I was hesitant about this book too. I may just have to check it out :)

  5. I loved this book too. Your point about the Plague is excellent and spot on.

  6. The story of this boy, his relationships with his family, friends, and others in his community brought me to tears many times. It's such a well written story and I would recommend everyone read it!


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