My Thoughts About Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Book Review #19)

There are books that really touches the heart, there are books that pinches the heart, then there are books that stabs the heart. Literally. And this book is one of those.

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”- R.J. Palacio, Wonder

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I read my copy of this book when I was travelling back to work coming from my holiday break. I breezed through it. I love how the book had that steady flow of words that I was not able to notice that it’s almost finished. While I was reading this, I sometimes have to stop and just feel the the words that I read and stare on the road. I had to stop myself from reading the book about 50 pages before it reached the end for I know, someone who is really too emotional, I might not be able to handle what I am reading and just cry on the bus. And once I reached the place where I stay, despite being so tired and all,I finished the book and….. I cried… I wept. But not because of sadness but becasue of joy.

The book folows the story of August “Auggie” Pullman, a 10-year old boy who has facial deformities. Auggie went through alot of operations throughout his young life to even at least fix some parts of his face. He lives with his mom, dad and his sister, Olivia or Via, in New York. He enjoys being with his family who always treats her like a normal boy. They have strong family ties. His life changed when his parents decided to send him to a normal school. He was home-schooled by his mother before. Meaning, he’ll go out to the real world to meet new people, a world so different from his comfort zone. The purpose of which is to have Auggie experience what is to be normal and also how his parents want him to live normally. The book chronicles Auggie’s first year journey in school until he graduated from fufth grade. His first few days were marked by mixed reactions from his fellow students but mostly teasing,name-calling and all other mean stuffs but he then eventually met friends that looked beyond his physical appreance.

The book is mainly told through Auggie’s point of view but there are also five other perspectives that the book was told – his siter Olivia, her sister’s friend and also his oldest friend Miranda, his sister’s boyfriend Justin, and Auggie’s classmates and friend Jack and Summer. I like how the novel had a very smooth flow with each of the perspectives not overlapping each other. All the perspectives formed and developed a plot that is amazingly superb. They gave the book more life by telling more about Auggie’s experiences and personality.

“The best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average — those things are important to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to sepnd your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That to me, is the greatest measure of success.”- R.J. Palacio, Wonder 

There are some specific details on the book that made me loved the book more. Those are the things that made me even appreciate how the author was able to pull through and connect those to make the book so solid. From Auggie’s scenes with his friends in the canteen to their adventure in a natre reserve. From their school director’s wise lines to their teacher’s precepts. From his dad’s funny antics to his mom’s so many ways of showing love to Auggie.

The author was to be applauded by giving the readers strong characters. All of them work wonders on the book. All had special moments for the readers to better understand each and also how each of them, in one way or another,  provided depth to the main protagonist, Auggie. All of the characters are relatable and quirky. The characters are like real people whom you can eaily connect to. Character development as its best!

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(Photo grabbed from the web. Credits to the owner.)

Once in our life we have been bullied. What Auggie experienced was far worst that bullying. He knows that people behind his back speak ill of him when they see his face. He knows that eventhough people are not speaking, they are still judging him. But despite all of that the author was able to present a main character that has normal antics as a young boy but deep inside has a deep understanding of human’s tendencies to be judgmental. He sees it as normal. He’s not naive, he just has a big heart.

“Mr. Browne’s September Precept:
When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”- R.J. Palacio, Wonder 

The author used simple but powerful words. Words that cut through feelings and emotion and will linger in the reader’s mind for quite some time. The story is also fast paced and has short chapters making it an easy read. Every ending of each chapter has little cliffhangers wanting you to read the next and on and on. The author mixed humour and serious talk making it a light read.

I wish that this will be a recommended reading to every elementary school. The book teaches us to be compassionate and considerate. Being different is not easy but Auggie showed that it’s just how you carry yourself. It’s just about accepting what you are and being confident with what you have. It’s also about trusting people you believe deserves your trust and not losing hope that there are still true and loving people out there. Auggie’s take on life is one that inspires. His optimistis attitude is one that is contaagious.

Overall, the book is genuinely heartwarming with a deep message about unconditional love. It’s impossible not to be moved by Auggie’s story.

I felt every page. This book can be enjoyed by readers of any age.

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”- R.J. Palacio, Wonder

5/5 stars

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(Photo grabbed from the web. Credits to the owner.)

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