Monday, July 22, 2013

Wonder: a review

Author: R.J. Palacio
Info: Books for Young Readers, copyright 2012, 315 pages

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): Sometimes life sucks.  But then you get up in the morning and you move ahead anyway.

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?

 ~Goodreads Description~

The Breakdown
August Pullman is a medical miracle…and conundrum.  By a one-in-four-million chance, his parents carry and passed along two genes that have left him with a severe facial deformity.  But he’s just a boy.  He loves Star Wars, likes to joke around with his family, and dreams of just being a normal kid.  When he decides to leave the comfort of homeschooling and enter the world of mainstream school, August finally finds out what feeling normal is like and that being not normal isn’t so bad.

The Awesome
August is an amazing, courageous, funny young man who has been dealt a difficult blow in life, but handles himself with humility and grace.  The story alternates between August and family and friends, providing unique perspectives.  Palacio does an excellent job of giving each character a unique voice, carrying the story forwarded, and shining light on different emotional aspects surrounding August.

The Not So Awesome
My only complaint is that the story ended a little too cleanly, a little too happy.  Which maybe isn’t a bad thing.  August and his family deserve the joy they bring to their everyday lives.  So it’s an ending of hope.  Okay.  Never mind. I just talked myself into like the ending.
Since its publication, I’ve been reading great reviews for Wonder by R.L. Palacio.  Sometimes I really hate reading books that considered super awesome.  Expectations are too high.  I feel obligated to like it and then I usual don't, because dude, you can't tell me what to like.  But Wonder was different.  August was different.  That beautiful little boy stole my heart. 

For an easy, emotional, thoughtful read, check out Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

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