(Warning: This review contains a lot of air quotes.)
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity. After being homeschooled for nearly 6 years, Auggie is thrown into mainstream schooling. With ordinary children. With ordinary faces. Will he be able to show his rude, gawking classmates that he is more than meets the eye?
Wonder was amazing! Everything about it just captivated me! From the message to the characters, and to the story-telling that was so well thought through. R.J. Palacio’s grasp on human behavior is so fresh and phenomenal! She paints a clear picture of the harsh honesty of her characters.
The book is told from six different points of view…August’s, Olivia’s, Jack’s, Summer’s, Justin’s, and Miranda’s. By having so many perspectives, the reader gets a glimpse into the mind of those whose lives intersect with Auggie’s. We get to see how Auggie affects each of their lives. Though this may be a little hard to follow, it is extremely important to the message R.J. Palacio is giving.
That message, in its rawest form, is “you can’t judge a book (or boy) by its cover”. But all the philosophies that go into this message create a cosmic idea. To think that Auggie’s little life was made that much harder because he looked different, is pathetic. It got me thinking of how this world treats people who are unlike us. Why do we judge someone because they look “abnormal”? Aren’t we all the same deep down? We all have hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Why do we pick at, tease, and harass those who are divergent from us? I don’t want to live in such a world. Why do some of the characters in Wonder think they are better than Auggie at things because they look “normal”? Auggie has a bigger, better heart than all of his classmates combined. He can see beyond the appearance of someone to see who they are, NOT what their appearances suggest they might be. I love how the author saw something in the world that she wanted to write about to help elevate the importance of it, and did just that!
This whole book got me thinking about these things and how I would react in such a situation. Before I go and state my disbelief on how shocked I am when someone judges someone else on their appearance, I should stop a moment and consider whether I do the same thing. And I don’t mean whether or not I would judge Auggie for looking different. For, in all honesty, I think I would treat him fairly. But what about the “normal” people that I judge? I will be pondering this subject for years to come. I will always remember the book that made me aware of the fact to never, ever, EVER, judge someone by their appearance.
I also really liked (back to the whole perspective thing) how she wrote each perspective differently. The author put herself in the shoes of the child she was writing about. It was a genius way to go about the book. I think it displayed her talent more vividly than she probably knows. It truly is remarkable that Wonder is R.J. Palacio’s first book!
Side note: I did not like all the times the kids said “dude”. In my experience, ten-year-olds do NOT use this word in every single sentence. This was the only thing I did not appreciate.
Wonder is phenomenal and is a book that must be read by every single person on Earth. I would give it a whopping 6 out of 5 stars! It was that good! It is better than good. It was better than the best. It was a wonder!
Thanks for reading my review! God bless!
“Happiness is…ignoring the world because you’re reading.”