Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Auggie is going to be attending public school for the first time in his life when he enters fifth grade. He has been kept at home because Auggie has a major facial deformity that causes people to gasp when they see him. Going to school is just as difficult as Auggie imagines it will be, but he also finds some unexpected things such as two friends who are able to see beyond what he looks like. The crafting of this book is unusual. Although the story is about Auggie, each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character in his life. The events in each chapter overlap a bit so the reader can see how two characters interpreted the same event, but each chapter also moves the story forward. Auggie's story kept me interested throughout but I felt that he and his classmates acted a few years older so I was always surprised when the author reminded me that they were just in fifth grade. I love a happy ending but I can't help but feel that it is a bit false since Auggie will continue to have problems throughout his life. Still, this book has important lessons for teens (and adults!) but they are presented through an entertaining, heartwarming story, not in a "here's something important for you to learn" way.