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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
reviewed 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