Wonder by R.J. Palacio

February 13, 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Pub. Bodley Head, 2012.

This book should be read by or to every child.

It is the type of story that will make you happy, sad, understanding, angry, you name the emotion or feeling and this book has it.

What’s more,it is easy to read. Short chapters with a variety of narrators giving a different point of view or experience. Great cover too.

August has reached 10 years old and he has been home schooled all his life. His excellent parents have kept him home for “his own sake”. They have fears that exposing August to the range of human behaviours in school will be detrimental to his self image, his morale and everything that makes us human beings. Why?

August was born with severe facial disfigurement which I am not going to tell you about, read the book yourself. When people look at him they gasp and sneek secret looks because they are fascinated and horrified at the same time.

August’s parents decide to send him to school and this evokes a range of reactions and experiences for everybody concerned. You will be appalled by some of the reactions.

The book is narrated by August, his sister and a number of friends and acquaintences who witness and have part in his first year at school. It is fascinating and remarkable, but totally predictable I am afraid, and this is what makes it so powerful.

This book is for everybody but primary and intermediate children will relate to it the most.

I will leave you with the feelings of August’s older sister Via ‘ We’ve all spent so much time trying to make August think he’s normal that he actually thinks he is normal. And the problem is, he is not”.


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