Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One of my all-time favorites and a book that will stay with me forever…
Why Did I Read It?
My 10-year old daughter is reading this book with her 5th grade class. I saw it in her backpack and I was intrigued as I leafed through it and saw some of the testimonials from some of my favorite authors. It looked like a quick read (which I loved), and I also thought it would be nice to be able to talk about the book with my daughter since we don’t usually enjoy reading the same types of books. This one we both loved, though!
The author calls this book “a meditation on kindness.” I think that description fits this book perfectly.
“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?”
“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. ”
Wonder tells Auggie’s story from six different viewpoints. The book begins to describe Auggie’s 5th grade year of school from his point of view, but then switches to include that of his older sister, Via; his classmates Summer and Jack; Via’s best friend; and Via’s boyfriend. At the end of the book, it switches back to Auggie’s point of view.
What Did I Think/Recommendation
I LOVE this book! This is one of the most moving books I have ever read. As I traveled along with Auggie on his journey through 5th grade, I laughed, cried, and felt a wide range of emotions as I read the story through several different points of view. This book, with it’s really short chapters, was a very quick and easy read. I love that! I thought it was brilliantly written, and I loved reading the story from several different points of view.
One of my favorite concepts in the book is Mr. Browne’s Precepts. Mr. Browne is Auggie’s English teacher, and he gives a different precept each month and encourages the kids to come up with some of their own. Here are some of my favorite precepts and quotes from the book:
“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
“To thine own self be true.” ~Hamlet, Shakespeare
“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” ~August Pullman
“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can.” ~John Wesley’s Rule
“You can’t exactly blend in when you were born to stand out.” ~Auggie
And my personal favorite:
“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”
Update: October 29, 2014 My daughter just started her very own blog, and you can view her review of Wonder here. 🙂