June 8, 2013
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with an unusual genetic defect, causing an extremely disfigured face. After many surgeries, and protection from the world by home schooling, Auggie's mom decides it is time for him to brave the world and start middle school. Wonder, R.J. Palacio's first novel, is the story of his first year of regular school, with regular kids. What I liked most, is that Auggie's story is not presented in a sappy, tug-at-your-heart, manipulative way. It just does. The people are very real, with his family loving, but not perfect. Teachers and administrators caring but not idealized. School mates and friends that mostly try, faulter, but learn and grow. The story is mostly told in Auggie's voice, but we also hear the voices of his sister and friends, who retell part of the story from their point of view, but then carry the story further. Ultimately it is August who grows the most, learning that whatever challenges are placed before you, it is what's inside, and what you do with it, that matters the most.
Reed Reads Score: 4.5