Wonder – The Review

Author: R. J. Palacio
Publisher: Bodley Head
ISBN: 9780370332284

Wonder by R. J. PalacioWonder is the story of August Pullman. August, known to most as Auggie, is an ordinary ten-year-old boy who was born with a terrible facial abnormality. Until now, Auggie has been home-schooled by his mom, protected from the cruel world outside. Now it’s time for Auggie to go to a real school, to join all the other kids his age, but he’s dreading it. What will all the other kids say? Can he convince them to look past his face, to see that underneath it all he’s just like them?

Wonder is told through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via and his friends. While I must admit to preferring reading Auggie’s parts, it was good to read how Auggie’s life impacted on those of his family and friends and how they dealt with it. Via being the protective big sister, but also feeling a little left out when her parents’ attention has a tendency to go to Auggie; Jack being torn between one friend and the others. Despite the narrative switching to different characters, the story of Wonder flows seamlessly  and it’s easy to follow.

I loved the character of Auggie. He might be a little shy and afraid of things at first, but then he just gets on with things. Over the school year, in which Wonder is told, Auggie grows and adapts. You really get to know and love the kid behind the face.

Wonder doesn’t just deal with what it’s like to grow up looking different, but it also looks at childhood relationships, family life, tolerance and more. I found myself able to relate to a number of characters and situations, and it’s a long time since I was in school!

This might be a book aimed at children, but I think it should be read by people of all ages. It just might change the way you see other people. Wonder has a powerful message and is honest, poignant, funny and with it’s short chapters, its very much a page-turner. Wonder is a book that had me laughing, smiling and crying. The title of this book really does reflect it’s contents. It truly is a wonder-ful book!

If there’s one book you’ll read this year then I’d recommend choosing Wonder.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio is due to be released in the UK by Bodley Head on 1st March 2012. Pre-order your copy now!

Check back here soon for a giveaway featuring this book!


Please note: I received this book free from Random House in return for a review. However, this has in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

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7 comments on “Wonder – The Review
  1. Hi Nikki,

    This definitely sounds like a book that should not only be given to children to read, who are facing the scenario of having a new child who is different from themselves starting in their class, but also more importantly to the parents.

    So many of the schools have adapted to include diasabled or disadvantaged children in mainstream education, yet still many of the prejudices and bullying tactics emerge, from both the more able students and more alarmingly, their parents.

    Perhaps the short, sharp shock treatment of reading a book like this, would do some good at changing hearts and minds …

  2. My two daughters went to a progressive primary school which included children with disabilities such as Downs syndrome, spina bifida etc. They honestly never noticed the difference. When my father had disfiguring surgery following cancer of the tongue, the same thing applied – he was still their beloved ‘Grandpa.’ The more books there are like this around when kids are growing up, the better the world will be.

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