Wonder

Written by R.J. Palacio

This book is about a boy named August (Auggie), who begins school in the fifth grade after being home schooled. It is about how people treat him based solely on his appearence. Can he get them to know the boy inside? He makes a few friends in school who try to help him get through the tough stuff. He finds out what true friendship really means. The story takes you through a year of trials and challenges. Will the students come to accept Auggie? It is written so that you get the view point of several different people in the story, from the loving parents to the protective older sister, to a friend who is shunned by others. You begin to realize that everyone is affected in different ways by August. I believe that this book will be a bestseller and is the best book i have read this year. This book makes you take a look at yourself and how you behave towards others. A great book to discuss in classrooms about how people are treated.

Review by Lillian Wickens, South Kearns Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-7

rjpalacio.com

Wonder
Written by R.J. Palacio
Alfred A. Knopf
320 pages
Release Date: February 14, 2012
ISBN: 9780375869020 (hardcover)

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18 thoughts on “Wonder”

  1. Loved loved loved this book. Thanks for recommending it so highly.

    I’m bumping this review to the top because the book is actually published now, there is a new book trailer for it, and it’s just an awesome book that needs more attention from us.

  2. Leanna Griffiths

    I’m looking froward to reading this book this summer. It is a new Beehive nominee isn’t it? It sounds like one to be put alongside O.K. For Now and Out of My Mind, which are both must reads in my opinion. We can’t have too many books to help us treat others kindly.

    1. Leanna,

      This is funny because Cindy Dunn and I were just talking about this book as your comment came in, speculating as to whether it could be a Newbery contender for 2013.

      This actually isn’t a Beehive nominee, it was a brand new release in February and Cindy had it on her list of books for you to choose from for Leg. money. If I have anything to do with it it will be a Beehive nominee next year, though. (I’m going to attempt to join the committee.)

      You should definitely seek it out and read it now, though.

  3. Adding my review:

    Everything in this book centers around Auggie, a boy who is completely average and normal in every way except for the fact that he has an extremely deformed face, a result of a severe cleft pallet and an unlucky genetic jackpot of other variations and disorders. For medical reasons Auggie has done home school his whole life, but his parents have decided that it’s time for him to go to middle school, and he agrees to give it a try. Middle school is already somewhat of a terrorizing gauntlet for most young people, so it is not surprising that Auggie’s introduction presents some additional special experiences and challenges. In addition to Auggie’s point of view, the reader gets to see parts of the story through several other characters’ eyes, such as his older sister, some of his classmates, &c. Young readers in this age group (10-14) will identify quite easily with August and the other characters as they negotiate the vividly depicted social situations.

    This book very much feels like it occurs in the same middle school world as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, and it would work great as the next rung up on a reading ladder that includes those books. It is slightly more serious and and a slightly longer read, but it retains the types of characters, the humor, and the cultural references found in those books. This connection is even made explicit when at one point in the story Auggie himself uses the Wimpy Kid “Cheese Touch” as an analogy for his own situation at school.

    I loved this book, and out of everything I’ve read so far this year I am routing for it to win the Newbery. It is exciting and a win for children’s lit. to have a story like this with a relatable young character set in a realistic and contemporary setting. I’m on the lookout for more of these kinds of books. Every elementary and jr. high library should have this book in their collection, and promote it to their students.

    Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
    Interest Level: Grades 4-9

  4. I’m bumping this to the top again because I have more new content on the review, and I have 2 copies to give away! (Leave a comment on this post before May 16, 2012 if you would like a chance to win.)

    Here’s an audio track of author R.J. Palacio introducing this book and then reading an excerpt from it: http://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?id=7465&a=1

    Here’s an interview with R.J. Palacio from School Library Journal: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/894233-312/r.j._palacio_kindness_rules.csp

  5. Renee Larsen

    I’ve heard so many great comments about this book, I put it on hold at the public library and I just picked it up the other day. This is on my “must read” list for sure. I ordered one from the Leg. money, but with as good as it is, another one on the shelf here at the library would be great!! I would love a copy.

  6. Vala'dee Tanner

    WONDER sounds like a wonderful book. It’s at the top of our wish list for next year. We would LOVE a copy at Rosecrest.

  7. Irene Taylor

    This book is definately at the top of my summer reading list. It sounds wonderful. We would really like to have a copy in our library.

  8. Thank you for putting this site together. I love to come here and get good recommendations for books. Wonder sounds wonderful. I would love a copy for Elk Run Elementary and I think I’ll have to buy one for myself. Thanks guys! And the great reviews by Lillian and Josh were so helpful.

  9. Jodie Uriarte

    This was my kindle choice for April. I really liked it. Infact I can wait to get a copy for our library so I can share it with the students at Copper Hills.

  10. Sharon P. Christensen

    This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for recommending it so highly. Stansbury Elementary would love this book. Thanks!

  11. Terrie Bishop

    I can’t wait to read this one. I’m sure our students will love it. Thanks for the great review.

  12. I would love to have a copy of this book to recommend for my Wimpy and Origami readers. We need more books like this–books students like to read and that they learn something about people from, too.

  13. Debbie Solberg

    Your Newbery speculation alone makes this book one we’d want to have. But we also have some students that would relate to the boy in this book that attend our school.

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