wonder

wonder by RJ PalacioOnce in a while something comes along that, in such a deep and elegant way, can transport us to places of true revelation and discovery and offer perspectives that truly change the way we see the world. Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, is just such a thing. This book is the story of August, a boy who was born with a facial deformity, who enters a mainstream school for the first time as a 5th grader. Sections of the book are written from the perspectives of various people in the story: August himself, a new friend at school, August’s sister, her boyfriend…

We experience the richness and complexity of each character as they struggle with the conflicting emotions of fierce, unconditional love, the exhaustion of being different, and the desire to fit in; kids parse out the characteristics of true friendship from the shine of ephemeral popularity; everyone finds strength and grace in unsuspecting places. It is hard to come away from this story without a heightened appreciation for the courage of empathy, friendship, and kindness. A great book or read-aloud for kids from 10 years and up. -n&t

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