Wonder by R.J. Palacio

So I'm finally writing a review about this book...I know, I know. I'm at least two years behind everyone else, but it bears repeating. This kid is a wonder after all.

Auggie was born with mandibulofacial dysostosis...and a bunch of other very unfortunate genetic mutations which result in some serious facial abnormalities. As he puts it, "Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse," (Palacio pg. 3). He's endured countless surgeries to overcome the very real possibility of never living to see tomorrow, and now, at 10 years old he's finally going to go to a real school.

Let's be clear, he doesn't want to go. Well, mostly. He knows the kids are going to stare and make fun of him. They won't be able to see past his face and treat him like the really cool, funny, mostly normal kid who rides his bike, eats ice cream, loves his dog, and plays XBox.

His sister Via has lived in the shadow of Auggie and been his biggest protector her whole life, but this year she's starting high school. She's ashamed to admit that it's a relief to be somewhere she isn't known as "the freak's sister." She's cast in the school play, and she hasn't told her family about it...what kind of a sister is she...what kind of a person does that make her?

Jack hasn't told August this, but the principal asked him to hang out with Auggie and help him out. I mean, that's how it started out, but he really likes Auggie now. He would pretty much consider him his best friend. He just feels pressured by everyone else. They ask him why he would be friends with a freak. And that horrible game everyone is playing, The Plague...he doesn't know what comes over him that day.

All of these reactions and emotions all over a sweet 10-year old boy with a birth defect. Can this boy really enact some change in this school? Or will he decide it's all too much, and retreat from the bullying and whispers. This is a story of bravery in the face of cowardice, and it will break your heart before it puts it back together again.
"'It was bad how we did that,' she said. 'Just getting up like that, like we'd just seen the devil. I was scared for what Jamie was going to say, you know? I didn't want him to say anything that would hurt that little boy's feelings. But it was very bad, us leaving like that. The momma knew what was going on.'
'But we didn't mean it,' I answered.
'Jack, sometimes you don't have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone. You understand?'" (Palacio pg. 137, 2012).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts by R.J. Palacio
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Palacio, R. J. (2012). Wonder. New York : Alfred A. Knopf.


  1. I had a really bad few weeks and then I read this book and my attitude made a 180 degree turn. Thank you, Auggie. The power of books, amazing.

  2. I wish that everyone would read this book, because it will help them understand the humanity of my son and everyone like him.