Monday, July 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Wonder

Today’s pick: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Random House, 2012

Publisher’s Description:

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?

My take:

I heard so many good things about this book I was excited to finally borrow a copy from my local library. But it’s so amazing that I’m putting it on my list of books to buy!
Auggie’s facial anomaly is a reality that can’t be ignored, but at the same time he’s just an ordinary boy—with a sister, an aging dog, friend problems and a StarWars obsession. This novel is full of funny moments, as well as touching and heart-breaking ones. I was so wrapped up in Auggie’s story that I was surprised when the author started to tell the story from the point of view of his sister…and then some of the other kids. But it was a really cool way to tell the story and show different sides of Auggie’s character.

As a writer, I am so impressed by the way the author got inside the mind of a 10-year-old boy and showed the world from his perspective. I’d read this again to study how she used dialogue and details to create an authentic view of the grade 5 experience. I also liked the chapter headings and I noticed their significance more after I’d read the entire novel.

Favourite quote:
“If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place.”

Other info:

R.J. Palacio lives in New York and worked as an art director and book designer for many years.

This is R.J. Palacio’s first novel.

It’s worth visiting the Annotations page on the author’s blog to read about why she included the specific quotes and songs, and tidbits about creating the characters.

On her website, the author says “It's never the perfect time to start writing a book. So I decided to just go for it.”

 For more, visit R.J. Palacio’s website.


  1. I've heard so much goo about this too. I haven't read it yet but hope I get to it. Thanks so much for your great review.

  2. There is so much that's amazing about this book. I've heard a lot of talk about it winning the Newbery too; it would be so deserving.

  3. Yes! Love love love this book. I hope it does win the Newbery, or at least an honor. But for sure it's bound to win the Schneider Family Award. I was surprised by the change in POV also, but I liked it. It added depth to Auggie's story.

  4. Wonder is one of the best books I have ever read! I enjoyed your review and the quote you included. I am trying to live by that quote since I read the book. I was captivated by Auggie and all of the other characters in the book. This past Friday we interviewed R.J. Palacio on our blog. It was fun to find out a little bit more about this amazing author. I think everyone should read Wonder!

    1. I love that quote too! I think some people might be amazed at how much great stuff is in "children's books".

      Thanks for mentioning the interview - I'll check it out.

  5. I'm adding this to my want-to-read pile. Thanks for the heads up :-)

  6. Sounds awesome! I'll definitely pick up this one for my classroom!

  7. Oh I've heard about this book and now I know I need to read it. Thanks for the review!

  8. What a cute book! I enjoyed that little excerpt. It's so true!

  9. I have this one on my to buy and re-read list too! I first read it as an e-ARC and like you was AMazed.

  10. i really loved this one -- the story was so quietly powerful. i also plan to purchase it once it comes out in paperback since i originally borrowed it from the library. can't wait to read it again.


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