Author: R. J. Palacio
Reading Range: 4.8 (AR Finder)
Interest Range: 4-8 (AR Finder)
Plot: Auggie was born with a facial deformity. For that reason, it was thought he would not survive long after birth, but he did. He has never been to school before and he is about to start the fifth grade. He is nervous about going to school for the first time. When people first see Auggie, they either stare at him or look away. Auggie wants to be treated just like everyone else. Many of the students are not sure what to do with him. They mostly ignore him except for the students who are assigned to help him adjust to school-Julian and Jack. Auggie starts to get close to Jack. Jack begins to see how cool he is until one day he makes a cruel comment about how if he had a face like Auggie, he would kill himself. Auggie stays away from Jack until Jack figures out that Auggie heard him. He apologies to Auggie and they become friends, again. Julian starts to bully Jack because of his friendship with Auggie. Can Auggie make it through his first year of school?
Review: Most of the story is told from Auggie’s point of view but other character tell their stories and how Auggie has affected them. The book captures what it is like to be different from other people and to be almost constantly reminded of that difference. That was part of the reason he was kept out of school until now. It was touching to read how Auggie and Jack were able to become friends even after Jack said that thing about him. Jack started to see him as a person. Many of the characters are able to see Auggie as just Auggie. Some of them are not going to be able to. Julian’s view of Auggie does not change in the book. He sees him as a freak and that is all he can see him as. He cannot directly bully Auggie but he can get away with bullying Jack because he is “normal.”  Part of the reason for Julian’s attitude is his mother. His mother thinks that Auggie should not be allowed near “normal” children because of his deformity. In reality, there are a lot of people who feel the way Julian’s mother does. Even through Auggie wins over a lot of people there are still people who are prejudice against him. I would recommend this book to all ages. I loved it.
Additional Info:
Main Characters:
Auggie Pullman-He is starting school for the first time. He has a facial deformity. He loves Star Wars.
Via Pullman-Via is Auggie’s sister. She is starting high school. For the first time, she is not just Auggie’s sister but her own person.
Julian-Julian is a popular boy at school who is assigned to help Auggie when he first starts school. He dislikes Auggie.
Jack Will-Jack is another student who was assigned to help Auggie. He and Auggie become friends. He discovers how cool Auggie is.
Summer Dawson-Summer is the first person to sit with Auggie. She accepts him from the start.
Justin-Justin is Via’s boyfriend. He becomes protective of Auggie and Jack when he meets them.
Isabel Pullman-Isabel is Auggie and Via’s mother. She tries to protect Auggie the best she can.
Nate Pullman-Nate is Auggie and Via’s father.
Miranda: Miranda is Via’s friend. They start to drift away in high school. She loves Auggie ever since he was born.

Theme: Coming of age, Empowerment, Isolation

Bibliographic Info:

Palacio, P. J. (2012). Wonder. New York, NY: Knopf Books for Young Readers



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