February 14, 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Pages: 320
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

From bn.com:
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.

I totally get why everyone is raving about this book.  It really is that great.  The message in this book is so simple, but so important.  Be kind.

It's told from a bunch of different viewpoints, which I wasn't sure if I was going to like at first, but I think it really worked for this story.  I liked that each character got to back up a little bit so the stories overlapped and I liked hearing all the different sides of what was happening.

One of my favorite parts of this book was that all of Mr. Browne's precepts were included at the end.  Even the summer postcard ones that were sent back from the kids.  These were "any saying or ground rule that can motivate you (p.46)" that Auggie's teacher put on the board in the classroom each month.  I'm a big quote person - I am constantly writing things down from books and music and tv, so I loved the addition of these at the end of the book.

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