Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder 
Author: R.J. Palacio 
Publisher: Knopf 
Published: February 14th, 2012 
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

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"Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much." - Blaise Pascal

One of the main reasons I'm glad it's summer is the reading. I'm finished with all the books I had to read for school, and I finally can get to some fun reads. So of course for my first fun read of the summer, I pick a book that made me cry.

My mom got me Wonder when I was still in middle school myself, but I never got around to it until now. But even though I may not be so middle-grade anymore, that doesn't mean this book wasn't for me -- I believe Wonder is a book for all ages. It's told from the POVs of the main characters, all of whom are kids, with the oldest being about 15 or 16; but although the kids act and talk their age, it didn't feel like I was reading a kids' book. This may be due in part to the fact that the main character, August, deals with something most kids his age don't have to, and as a result it's somewhat matured him and some of the people around him. Wonder is a sad story, but it's also beautiful. There are so many lessons to be learned from it, and kids aren't the only ones who could benefit from those lessons.

I loved August; I don't think many kids could handle what he goes through so well. Not just what he has, but how other people react and treat him due to it. On that note, there were definitely some bullies in this book, and while nothing got graphic, there was (very) mild violence and some name-calling that may be a little intense for some younger kids. But there were also some incredible characters -- like Via, Summer, Jack Will, Justin -- who made up for any negativity August endured. I loved getting their POVs and seeing how they viewed August and how they each cared for him in very different ways. Another thing I enjoyed about the multiple POVs was that sometimes we got more than one side to a story, and things weren't always as they once seemed.

Even though it was heart-breaking at times and it did make me cry, I'm really glad I decided on Wonder for my first summer fun read. It was a beautiful story, and I'm looking forward to picking up some of the Wonder companion stories and reading more of R.J. Palacio's work. 

"I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives." 
   
© at A Belle's Tales

  

4 comments:

  1. YAY for summer time reading! It is the best when you can read whatever you want. This sounds like an emotional one and I am so glad you loved it. Great review!

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  2. Woohoo! What a way to start off your summer reading. Love those books that carry a great message for all ages.

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  3. Love time for good summer reading! This one definitely looks like a book that would have your emotions all over the place and I'm glad you finally got to read this one. And that you enjoyed it so. Love this review, girl!

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