By R.J. Palacio
Knopf • 2012 • 320 pages
Ages 10 and up
August Pullman, better known as Auggie, is about to start 5th grade in a new school. Up until now, he had been homeschooled by his loving and over protective mother. Auggie is a completely normal boy—he is obsessed with Star Wars, plays Xbox every chance he gets, and loves his dog, Daisy. But most people don’t see how normal he really is. Instead, they tend to focus on the extreme facial deformities with which he was born. Despite doctors’ best efforts and the over twenty surgeries Auggie has endured to try to correct his physical appearance, he will never look as normal on the outside as he feels on the inside.
Told from several points of view, including Auggie’s, his older sister, Via’s, and his new friend, Jack’s, the story follows Auggie as he experiences his first year out of the security of his family’s apartment. He must navigate his way through a new school, and along the way, experience some very good highs, and some terrible lows. But Auggie perseveres through it all, and makes friends in the process in this uplifting story.
Read Related: Best-Selling WONDER Author on Being a Mom and Kindness
As anti-bullying movements take center stage throughout the country, Wonder vividly demonstrates how a bullied child feels, and how one member of the family can affect the whole. This New York Times bestseller will make a heartwarming addition to a child’s library as it teaches important lessons.
[Editor’s note: The publisher launched an anti-bullying campaign called Choose Kind inspired by the novel. For more information, you can visit: http://choosekind.tumblr.com]
—Reviewed by Beth Rotella, Teacher, New York