Friday, December 9, 2011

Wonder by R. J. Palacio


I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

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? 

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

What can I say? Where do I begin? How do I express what reading this book made me feel? It's not a book, it's a journey. It's a tragedy and a comedy and true and false at the same time. I feel privileged to have been allowed to read this (typos and all). And Auggie's right, I don't want to imagine him. I don't want to avert my eyes from his face. I don't want to hurt his feelings and feel like I behaved like all the other people did. But you know that it would happen if you saw him. That's the strength of this book. It makes you realize how superficial we truly are even when we profess not to be. It makes you empathize with the characters. It makes you live them. And it's not a comfortable feeling. 

Recommended for everyone. I just had one minor issue and that was the last award should have gone to Jack (or Summer), who had the guts to get the ball rolling.

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