Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review of Wonder

Wow!  It's a miracle!  I actually have a second post to put on this blog.  (For further information on why this is so miraculous, please read the previous post on this blog.)  

Back from reading the other post?  Great!  Let's continue.  

So, the book I'll be reviewing today is entitled Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I read this book back in January 2014, so I guess I am cheating a bit by using a previously written review from Goodreads.  (Hmm, maybe this post isn't so miraculous, after all.)  This book has starred reviews from several of the big magazines, including Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal.  You can read those on R.J. Palacio's website.

You may be asking yourself, "Where does she get off writing a review when it has already received so many kudos from some big names?"  Answer... that's just how I roll.  

The Synopsis

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

The Review

There was so much to like about this book. I liked the characters. I liked how the perspective of the story changed from character to character so I could see the story through many eyes. I liked the message of acceptance and kindness woven throughout the book, without becoming "preachy". I thought it was wonderful that the center of the story, August, wasn't written as some stereotypical 100% noble character. 

The interactions between him and the other characters read as very realistic to me. August is a boy who was born with very serious health problems that caused his face to be very misshapen. Due to health problems and various surgeries, August was home-schooled until the year he was ready to enter 5th grade. That's when this book begins, as we follow August through his first year in a middle school. 

All the typical things children this age face are part of this book: making & losing friends, beginning to figure out who they are, the importance (or not) of popularity, being mean, being kind, learning to accept others as they are, and the list goes on. All of these typical trials of growing up are magnified through the lens of August's physical appearance and how others react/relate to it. 

Many scenes in this book touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. However, there is more than one dimension to this story, so don't fear a cryfest from cover to cover. I found this book to be uplifting and it made me take a few moments to question how much kindness I have put out into the world. 

The Rating

All in all, I thought it was a wonderful book. I would recommend it to children and adults alike.  
I give this book 4 stars.  File:Five Pointed Star.pngFile:Five Pointed Star.pngFile:Five Pointed Star.pngFile:Five Pointed Star.png

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