Tuesday, January 29, 2013


by R. J. Palacio
January 2013

This had all the buzz during the weeks leading up to the Newbery announcements. Many people were sure it would win or at least get an honor.


But, that's ok. It was talked about at lot and I'm sure it will be recommended to many kids looking for a fun, but serious book.  How can you have a book that fun but serious?  Publish one that has a sense of humor but doesn't have anything to do with underwear, boogers, princesses, barbies, fairies, etc.

"August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance."

This is a solid middle-grade novel. I think it's one that kids will enjoy even though teachers and librarians consider it a good book. I would recommend this to almost any kid fifth or sixth grade and up. August's family is loving and decent people. The good characters are mostly good and the bad guys are jerks. Some bullying takes place - enough for us to get the message that it's wrong - but it doesn't drag the book down nor make it depressing. Wonder is fairly realistic. The ending was a little bit too happily-ever-after. But, that's alright because we need that. Sometimes you just need a message delivered, not pounded into you.

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