sunshine and stardust
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an amazing, uplifting book. I loved it. I can’t remember the last book where I was laughing, then crying and then laughing again within the space of a few pages. I had a lump in my throat throughout most of the story. It was an emotional book with a character-driven plot which I enjoyed and won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Wonder follows ten-year-old August Pullman who has severe facial deformities. August has been home-schooled by his mother for the entirety of his life due to constant upheavals in the form of numerous surgical procedures. When his parents suggest he start the 5th Grade at Beecher Prep, August is at first naturally reluctant.
Of course, he has the same concerns as other children who are starting school: Will the other children like me? Will I make friends? Or will I be the odd one out? The main problem for August is that others refuse to see past his deformity to the wonderful personality that lies beneath.
I knew as soon as I started Wonder that I would love it. It is equal parts funny and sad. August is a very honest protagonist. At the start, he is vulnerable and somewhat naive, but because of the many experiences he goes through, he learns important life lessons.
I was surprised that Wonder had multiple narrators but I welcomed the different insights into August. I wondered why August’s parents didn’t narrate part of the story. While it would have been interesting to read their thoughts on August, the lack of their narration does not detract from the story in the slightest.
I admired August’s friend; the exuberant Summer, who first approaches him when he’s sitting alone in the cafeteria. If only there was a Summer for every person who sits alone in cafeterias. I also like Via; August’s sister as she is loving, protective and conflicted.
While August’s actions felt very real throughout the story, I thought he would have been angrier at certain points of the story. Overall, I really loved Wonder as it felt real. I saw August growing and changing as a person; teaching others the valuable lesson of kindness. I cannot wait to read more from R.J. Palacio as Wonder was remarkable.
Sounds like a beautiful book! Thank you Kulsuma.