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Book Reviews of Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1)

Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1)
Wonder - Wonder, Bk 1
Author: R. J. Palacio
ISBN-13: 9780375869020
ISBN-10: 0375869026
Publication Date: 2/14/2012
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 84

4.3 stars, based on 84 ratings
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

15 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio is considered a children's book but really, it's a book everyone should read. It is the story of a boy named Auggie who is born with physical malformations that have required numerous surgeries over the course of his ten years of life. Still, he doesn't look like other kids and this book gives us a glimpse at not only how he deals with this issue, but how others in his family and some of his friends do as well. It is a charming book, so well written with great characters and realistic outcomes. It's a book that I think changes people--it certainly changed me. My eleven year old son read it as well and really liked it. It deals with pretty heavy issues so I won't recommend it to children who struggle with that sort of thing, but otherwise, I'd suggest it to anyone. This isn't Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It's an amazing story about an amazing kid and those who share his journey. Easily one of my all-time favorite books.
ophelia99 avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 2527 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have been wanting to read this for awhile and when my son begged me to buy it for him the beginning of the summer I did. My 10 year old son ended up loving it and was eager for me to read it as well. This was an excellent read that I enjoyed a lot. It was very engaging and very well written!

The book is told in sections and each section is told by a different person involved in Auggie's life. Auggie's severe facial deformities have made life challenging for him to put it mildly and they affect everyone from his family to his friends.

I loved Auggie; he has a positive attitude, is able to poke fun at himself, and is incredibly smart. That's not to say he's perfect; he struggles a lot with things and sometimes assumes the worst of people because of his experiences.

This was a very heart-warming and humorous story about kids that look past Auggie's appearance and give him a chance as a friend. It also takes an interesting look at how everyone around him is affected by either being related to him or choosing to be his friend.

This is a story that leaves you feeling absolutely happy and amazed at the end; it's just very engaging and inspiring. I had a really hard time putting it down and understood completely why my son loved it so much.

Overall this was an amazing read and I would recommend everyone read it. There's a lot of food for thought packed into this engaging, humorous, and inspiring story. It's very readable and engaging and I enjoyed it thoroughly!
skywriter319 avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 784 more book reviews
If this book doesnt get its own slew of awards this year, there is no justice in the literary world. WONDER is unmatched in the middle-grade contemporary genrebut, in fact, it is not middle-grade so much as it is a winning tale that transcends reading age groups.

There are many great things I can talk about regarding WONDER, but my favorite thing about it is how R. J. Palacio successfully uses multiple perspectives to weave together a very full portrait of Auggie and his struggles and triumphs. Palacio treats the story humanly and realistically. Just as in real life, characters are not perfect in this book: Auggies older sister, Via, struggles with her guilt over her occasional flashes of resentment and embarrassment over her brother, while Auggies friend Jack learns how to balance social expectations with his personal feelings about their friendship. As readers, then, we might prefer some characters over others, but we cannot hate any of them, because we fully understand where they come from.

Auggie, the protagonist, is a character that simultaneously possesses the youthful optimism of the truly good and the observational skills of one who has borne more than he should have to. My heart jumped each time he made an insightful observation on subtleties in human behavior, such as the way he remarks on that one-two look people give him and his face. You know what hes talking about, because youve either received it, or have done it (the latter doesnt make you a bad person, as this book shows). Auggies narration is so honest and unflinching you feel like you should pity him, but you cant, because he just wants to be a normal boyonly he is too good of a person to be considered just normal. You know how that movie Say Anything has the tag line To know Lloyd Dobler is to love him? Yeah. To know August Pullman is to love him.

WONDER is marketed as a middle-grade novel, at least in the US, but I think it can be even better appreciated by older readers who are aware of both the innocent and not-so-innocent actions of children and also how cruel the world can be. Regardless of your age and genre preferences, WONDER will leave you in a mess of strong emotions and have you better appreciating your blessings. Thank you, R. J. Palacio, for reminding us of what it means to be human.
BaileysBooks avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 491 more book reviews
I really wasnt sure what to expect with this book, but I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed it.

Wonder is a rare book. It takes on an incredibly difficult subject (the severe facial deformity of a 10-year-old boy) and makes that story applicable to adults and children alike. It is a book that begs to be discussed, and it offers a wide range of topics for book clubs, classrooms, and the family dinner table.

Adults will find it to be a deceptively easy read, and younger readers should find themselves challenged by the actions of their peers. The majority of the book is just the same story being told again from a different characters perspective. While this adds depth for more advanced readers, it might pose a challenge to younger ones.

In all, I found this to be an incredibly honest and thought-provoking book. It struck that difficult balance between saying too much or not enough, and it is able to challenge the reader on multiple levels. I would highly recommend this book for anyone ages 5th grade and up.
reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 168 more book reviews
I liked but did not love this book, which was disappointing, because I wanted and expected to love it. The hero is August, a 10 year old boy born with a severe facial deformity. As he discloses: "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."

Despite his appearance, August is normal in every other way. This book takes us through his first year in a public school. August struggles at first to fit in, as it is a huge and scary hurdle not to be affected or hurt constantly by the side-ways glances, nudges and whispers that follow him around. He eventually risks trusting a few of his fellow classmates who reach out to him in kindness and friendship.

The book is first told from Auggie's point of view, then alternates with that of his older sister and several of his classmates. It is interesting and believable as his classmates relate their own struggles with their sometimes unkind thoughts and words. They know and want to be better, but fail sometimes to be empathetic.

The story wrapped up with a much-too-nice big red bow of an ending, which rang false to me, but aptly summed up the book's message, which is one of kindness towards others. It cannot be a bad thing for kids of all ages to read this book and absorb its inclusive messages.

*** Three stars
njmom3 avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 1361 more book reviews
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/11/wonder.html

August "Auggie" Pullman is an little boy in the fifth grade. He loves video games and Star Wars just like so many other boys. However, he has been home schooled until this point because he was born with facial deformities and has required extensive medical intervention. His physical appearance has caused him to be excluded and shunned in so many situations that he spent part of his childhood wearing an astronaut helmet. His favorite holiday is Halloween because he can hide behind a mask and for a short while feel like any other child - a short while when appearance does not affect how people look at him and react to him.

In fifth grade, Auggie joins a mainstream school. This is the story of what happens in that fifth grade year. It is Auggie's story, but what pleasantly surprised me, it is so much more than that. The first section of the book is Auggie's story. Then come sections from the perspective of those surrounding Auggie. His sister Via who loves her brother but has her owns struggles and challenges as she starts a new high school. Summer who becomes Auggie's first friend at school. Jack, another fifth grader who friends Auggie. Miranda who is Via's best friend and who has been a big part of Auggie's life. Justin who is Via's new friend. Throughout, the reader comes back to August and his story.

Each of the characters introduced are part of Auggie's life and are changed by their relationship with him. Each of them also faces their own struggles with growing up, feeling different, and feeling left out. As such, this story becomes so much broader because we all have experienced those feelings at times. While a reader (especially the target audience of children) may not directly relate to Auggie's situation, they may see themselves in one of the other characters.

I love discovering books that I enjoy as an adult and that I can share with my children. Even more, I love discovering books that can spark a conversation about life and life lessons with my children. A wonderful book!
tiffanyak avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 215 more book reviews
This book definitely has a powerful lesson to teach children. I did feel the writing was rather simplistic for me, which pulled me out of the story a bit, but I didn't deduct from my rating due to that. It wouldn't be fair, given the age level this is written for and the fact I'm an adult reader. It's just an important point for other adults who might care to read it, particularly as it's something that I usually have no issue ignoring.

That being said, Wonder has a great story to tell about a young boy with a facial deformity so severe that it horrifies people and makes some even run away screaming. After being taught by his mother at home for his early school years, the decision is made that he should attend a regular school so that he can advance beyond the point where his mother can help him. This book is the story of his first year at school, and it certainly isn't easy.

One interesting element is that the narrative voice changes several times in the book, though some of those voices are done better than others. But, we as readers get to hear the perspectives of August's sister, some of his friends, and so on. Each one does add to the story, and provides good insight into where the character is coming from, but the shifts in character do also seem to interrupt the flow and jar the reader a couple times, or at least that was my experience. It is clear as you read the book why it was done though, as it offers information and insight that August is not privy to, often thankfully so.

In any case, I definitely recommend this as a book to read with early-elementary up to middle school aged kids, when they can really learn from it. I say to read it with them because there is a lot to talk about in the book and having those discussions is really important.
bulldoglover22 avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 105 more book reviews
I recently received this book from a friend of mine. I had no idea what it was about, nor had I heard of it. I read the reviews which were predominantly positive. I have to say that I kept reading in order to find out why it was given so many rave reviews. I thought it was well written but I had a hard time agreeing with the reviews. It was a bit slow and by the time I neared the end, I was disappointed. It was touching in parts. In my opinion, it just didn't leave me wanting more.
mywoodybird avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
A very emotional book about the struggle facing a young boy with a facial deformity at school and at home. He has to deal with a lot of fear, ridicule and unacceptance. The book shows how good people finally overcome their fears when they see his face and accept him as a good kid. Very thought provoking book. Good read.
reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
One of the best books I have ever read. I cried buckets at times, and I'm not the type to cry even during the saddest of movies. It's a children's book but I think any adult would enjoy it. I'm 39 and don't have kids and I loved it. There are happy points and sad points and it's really a story about family and friendship and love.
reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on
This was recommended to me in an airport in Paris, as I was quickly looking for something to read on the trip home. I didn't realize until partway through that it is probably geared towards a younger reader, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was the perfect length for the flight.
The story is about a boy dealing with significant challenges as he enters middle school - hard for anyone new to a school - but, as the cover says, "You can't blend in when you were born to stand out". This is a remarkable story about courage, cruelty, compassion, empathy, bittersweet love, laughter and choosing to be kind, which is always the right choice.
As a teacher and parent of a child who is "different", I would recommend it to all, but especially for students in 5th grade and up (perhaps younger, depending on the reader), parents and siblings of a special child, and those who know what it takes to be a real friend, regardless of what others may think.
reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 267 more book reviews
A heartwarming story told from the perspective of the different main characters who are friends of Auggie. A fast read. D.
Grazona avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 119 more book reviews
I didn't really like this book but I like the message it is trying to send. I listened to this on audio and found the narration to be poor. The same person did multiple voices, which I found difficult to keep track of and the voice for August was not consistent, was too slow and distracted from the story. I think I would have liked it more if I had read the book myself. There are parts of the book I found touching and inspiring but for the most part, found it slow, boring and sappy.
loregess avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 175 more book reviews
A beautifully told story of a boy who faces so many challenges at school because of his appearance. He's really a cool kid but people keep him at arms length - that is until someone finally breaks from the pack and shows him some decency. Not all follow suit at once, but it goes to show that sometimes it only takes one small act of kindness to turn things around. Such a simple idea, yet such a complex concept for most.
BaileysBooks avatar reviewed Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1) on + 491 more book reviews
I really wasnt sure what to expect with this book, but I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed it.

Wonder is a rare book. It takes on an incredibly difficult subject (the severe facial deformity of a 10-year-old boy) and makes that story applicable to adults and children alike. It is a book that begs to be discussed, and it offers a wide range of topics for book clubs, classrooms, and the family dinner table.

Adults will find it to be a deceptively easy read, and younger readers should find themselves challenged by the actions of their peers. The majority of the book is just the same story being told again from a different characters perspective. While this adds depth for more advanced readers, it might pose a challenge to younger ones.

In all, I found this to be an incredibly honest and thought-provoking book. It struck that difficult balance between saying too much or not enough, and it is able to challenge the reader on multiple levels. I would highly recommend this book for anyone ages 5th grade and up.