Thursday, 8 March 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Pages - 313
Published by The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random House Children's Books

I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes an ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Goodreads Summary
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.
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If you read just one book this year, make it this one. This book will have you crying and laughing all in the same breath. You will come away from the book, desperate to become a better person. A truly life changing book. If you go to buy one book, buy a few copies of Wonder, because I can guarantee you will be urging other people to read it too. 

I am old enough to remember watching Mask and The Elephant Man, which were both based on similar true stories, so I had an inkling as to what I was letting myself in for when I began reading this book. I knew that the book would emotionally rock my world and it did. I think I actually put off reading it for awhile as I just knew I would be upset by it. 

Not that I am upset by the way the Auggie looks, no not at all. I was more upset by the way society reacted to Auggie. He was just a kid, who loved to do all the things other children do. He hurts and feels just like everyone else, so to suffer such torment really did upset me. I loved Auggie completely and if I was his mother, I would be just as protective. He is the sweetest child I have ever come across in literature.

I think one of the things that really stood out for me in this book was the way the dog, Daisy, loved Auggie and licked his face in the same way he would anyone else. Animals don't see the differences in people, so why do we as humans make such a big deal about it. Auggie really is a wonder, he is a medical wonder, as his condition is such a rarity. His heart is so big, it is impossible not to fall in love with him. 

I loved all the secondary characters in the book, especially as we got to view Auggie and his life through their eyes too. All of the secondary characters were very strongly written yet each had their own quirkiness that made them very real. Via was one of my favourites. She loved her brother completely, but sometimes she just wanted to be seen for  herself and not  as being the sister of  Auggie. I could understand that  as it must have at times been very difficult for her. She was very strong and supportive and was desperate to see her brother stand up for who he was. She didn't want to see him being treated like a baby all his life. He needed to be able to face people and deal with the way they looked at him.

Throughout Auggie's school year, you see how everyone learns to love Auggie for who he is and not for what he looks like anymore. He finally has friends and they love him just as they would anyone else. Truly heartwarming to read. 

I cannot praise this book enough. It truly is a wonderful read and I will nag you all to read it. Although make sure you have lots of tissues available as I can guarantee you will cry. A book you want to hug!

The saying at the back of the book says it all - 'don't judge a boy by his face!

15 comments:

  1. I loved this book too. I think it needs to be used in schools. It was full of passion and hope.

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  2. Oh, this looks so good! I have to read this!
    Thank you for the amazing review!

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  3. On my wish list. The Elephant Man is also one of my favourite stories. Have you read the book based on Joseph (John) Merrick's life? It's even more touching than the film.

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  4. PS. Just to let you know my book arrived this morning, thanks again.

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  5. This book does sound amazing (a word I try not to use too often--but it seems to fit)! I'm pretty sure I'd tear up quite a bit while reading this book.

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  6. Amazing book..agree, everyone should read it!

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  7. If there's one book that I haven't got yet but which I have to have it's this one, fab review!

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  8. That is so lovely that he finally gets friends :D

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  9. This sounds really great, extraordinarily unique and definitely a must read for me now. Thank you for such a great review, I will be reading this in the near future :)

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  10. Not heard about this book, but it sounds good. One I will definitely check out x

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  11. agree with everything you said Viv, I want to go out and buy dozens of copies and hand them out to people in the street!

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  12. Bought this last week. Can't wait to read it. It sounds so so good!

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  13. This books sounds really good. It's not out in paperback yet, is it?

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