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Book Review of Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1)

Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1)
Wonder (Wonder, Bk 1)
Author: R. J. Palacio
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover
tiffanyak avatar reviewed 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.