Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 2012
Pages: 320
Source: Library
For: Fun

Auggie has been in special schools since he started school, so when his parents decide to integrate him into a regular school in 5th grade, he is understandably nervous.  Having been born with a severe facial deformity, fitting in has not been something Auggie naturally does.  All Auggie wants now is to lead a regular 5th grade life, but can the kids at Beecher Prep accept him as he is, see past his unusual face?  

Things I Liked:
This really is a powerful book - a book that talks about hard things like bullying and doesn't seem to be too preachy and lame.  I think this will make a fantastic read-aloud for middle grade readers.  In fact, while I was reading it, my 12-year-old niece told me her teacher read the book to them and she really liked it.  It teaches hard lessons and shows the lessons from many different perspectives, all while feeling very natural.  I like how there aren't perfect people in the story - even those who are kind to Auggie make stupid decisions and aren't always able to look past his face.  I think it helped me to see that people who look different know that they do, they expect all of the reactions they get (because they've seen them all), and we need to get over it and see who people are underneath.  Kids can be cruel, but kids can be so kind too.  A sweet story that packs a punch.  And you can't help but love Auggie, who deals with so much, but with such grace.

Things I Didn't Like:
After all the raving, I expected there to be something a bit more, you know?  Something big and crazy that happens.  Instead, I get this quiet book with a message that doesn't exactly sneak up on you, but doesn't whack you upside the head either.  Quiet messages like be a bit more patient when people annoy you, etc.  Not exactly what I thought it would be. Better.

Reminded me of Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper
s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
not really violence, but bullying

Overall rating: *****

If you haven't read this one, get on it!  Everyone should get a chance to experience it.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. This one does sound like a great little story. I love that your niece liked it.

    1. I was thrilled she'd liked it (and that her teacher read it to them). If you ever start to like MG, this one is a gem. :)

  2. This sounds awesome. I will have to add it to Daughter #1's bookshelf.

  3. This sounds really good! I'm going to check into it for my kidlet as well.

    1. Hope your kid likes it (or at least learns something, right?)

  4. I don't know if it was better than I though it would be. Different, though. Good.

    1. Yeah, I guess it was better-different for me. I expected one thing and got something better, but different.

  5. I've had a few people recommend this to me. I don't read much MG, so I've held off. It looks like I may need to temper my expectations, because I'm expecting amazing. Glad to hear you liked it, though.

    1. Yeah, it's not what you expect from all the amazing rave reviews (I think), but quieter.

  6. I'm actually listening to this one right now and I think the audio brings something else to the story because the narration is so well done. It makes him seem so real. I'm in the middle so I'll be interested to see how it all ends up, but so far so good. Love your review! :o)

    1. Ooh, I'm glad the audio is so good. I think this one is great being heard, especially if the narration is done well.


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