Author: R.J. Palacio

Book Blurb:

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.

Review:

Imagine that you are living your life quite normally. You believe you are good enough, kind enough , you have not hurt anybody that you know of and you are quite pleased with yourself for this.

As you are going through life with this satisfactory smile, suddenly someone comes and slaps you right in the face and you realise that you are lacking. You thought you were good enough, kind enough but it was not really enough. You might not have hurt somebody knowingly, but maybe your actions were not really up to the mark.

Yea, that’s this book’s impact on me.

The beauty of this book is that you are forced to think about the way you behave with people with illnesses and deformity, especially if they are born with the deformity. You realise that they look different than “normal”, does not really mean that they “feel” abnormal.

It makes you think how much value you need to put on your skin? Does the quantity, colour and placement of the skin on your face define who you are?  Would you be different if you were born with a different face? In a society that puts such a value on looking “good” that there are multibillion dollar industries that specialize in augmenting your look, how does a person born with a face that is abnormal deal with the pressures that come with it? How do you explain people who are fixated on judging others by looks, that you are no different from them?

The book was impactful because it not only had a story from August’s perspective, but it focused on stories of other people as well. I really loved Via’s perspective. How she dealt with having a brother who was the centre of attraction. How she learned to do everything herself, how she loved him, and hated herself for wanting a normal life, but wanted a normal life at the same time.

The POVs of the friends were also interesting. Especially Jake and Summer’s pov. As one was forced to be August’s friend, and other became his friend.

My book was a special edition, so instead of the blue, it is in a yellow cover, and has an extra Julian Chapter. I think it added a dimension to the story as you get into the head of the bully and understand why he decides to bully others.

In the end, this is one of those books that changes your world-view.

Buy Wonder

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