Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Published February 14, 2012 by Knopf

313 pages, Hardcover edition


Wonder is an emotional, heart-warming story full of surprises that is bound to make you want to give Auggie a hug at least one. It’s the story of Auggie a young boy who was born with a facial deformity and at the age of ten is about to start school for the first time. It’s the story of his journey through socialisation and the horrible world of middle-school where kids say exactly what they think and will stare without a thought. It’s the story of friendships; both new and old and what it takes to test, break and fix these. It’s the story of family; the glue that holds them together and the strains ones family has to overcome when presented with a disability. It’s the story of Via, or Olivia as she wants hence to be known as, who for the first time in her life is able to have an identity other than ‘Auggie’s sister’ and her guilt that comes along with that.

In other words it’s a beautiful narrative about life. About hardships. The writing itself is rather frank and brutal in its honesty but it does so with humour to dispel any discomfort. For example, Auggie’s school principal is Mr. Tushman. Naturally a number of ‘bum’ jokes follow.  It’s told through a number of perspectives and at one point through the use of modern ‘social’ communications (facebook, email, etc..). It’s a novel that will put you in the shoes of a number of people and make you think about your past, present and future actions.

Although it is aimed at a middle school audience, Auggie’s story is suitable for anyone who can read. Especially Adults. Its poignant and beautiful and I’m glad that I ha the chance to read it.

This review originally appeared on Goodreads on Jan 30, 2012 and can be found here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/480184737


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