Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Palacio, R. J. (2012). Wonder. New York: Random House Children’s Books.
R.J. Palacio’s Wonder is a heart-warming story that touches the soul through one boy’s face. August Pullman is a fictional character, but he represents every child, parent, or sibling who has ever struggled to cope with the physical abnormalities of a loved one. Auggie feels like an ordinary boy on the inside, but it’s his extraordinary face that makes other kids stop and stare. For this reason he fears the very thing most children take for granted: going to school. Wonder is the story of his first experience in a real school, his first experience coming in contact with other children on a daily basis. Not only does this novel present an entertaining and attention-grabbing storyline, but it educates its reader on the daily life of children with birth defects. It explores important topics that many people shy away from: gawking, name-calling, and ostracism. However, Palacio approaches the subject from multiple points of view. She shows the direct effect that other people’s fear and unkindness can have on a child who feels “different”. Equally as important, she depicts the thoughts and feelings of other children when they come in contact with those that are different from them. Palacio teaches us that people can sometimes hurt each other unintentionally by expressing natural curiosities and fears. This eye-opening novel was written with young adults in mind, however it embodies important lessons that are essential for adults to learm as well. R.J. Palacio’s Wonder is about finding the beauty in every person even if you can’t see it at a first glance.