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Wonderby R. J. Palacio
Synopses & Reviews
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
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?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
"Auggie Pullman was born with severe facial deformities — no outer ears, eyes in the wrong place, his skin 'melted' — and he's learned to steel himself against the horrified reactions he produces in strangers. Now, after years of homeschooling, his parents have enrolled him in fifth grade. In short chapters told from various first-person perspectives, debut author Palacio sketches his challenging but triumphant year. Though he has some expectedly horrible experiences at school, Auggie has lucked out with the adults in his life — his parents love him unconditionally, and his principal and teachers value kindness over all other qualities. While one bully manages, temporarily, to turn most of Auggie's classmates against him (Auggie likens this to becoming the human equivalent of 'the Cheese Touch,' a clever Diary of a Wimpy Kid reference), good wins out. Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes — and hearts — to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd. Ages 8 – 12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turning filled with characters you can't help but root for." Entertainment Weekly
"Palacio makes it feel not only effortless but downright graceful, and by the stand-up-and-cheer conclusion, readers will be doing just that, and feeling as if they are part of this troubled but ultimately warm-hearted community." Booklist, Starred Review
"Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the middle school students. This is a fast read and would be a great discussion starter about love, support, and judging people on their appearance. A well-written, thought-provoking book. School Library Journal, Starred Review
"The breakout publishing sensation of 2012 will come courtesy of Palacio [and] is destined to go the way of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and then some." The London Times
"Wonder is a book with such a big wide heart — it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer!" Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender, Before We Were Free, Finding Miracles, and the Tia Lola Stories
"This really is a remarkable book!" Tom Angleberger, author of the New York Times bestseller The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
"August Pullman reminds us of what true beauty is." Paul Hankins, Goodreads
"Do I recommend Wonder? Yes, very much!! It's an eye opener for any age." Attack of the Book (blog)
"Wonder is essentially... a wonder. It's well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book — your life will be better for it." Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Rich and memorable....It's Auggie and the rest of the children who are the real heart of Wonder, and Palacio captures the voices of girls and boys, fifth graders and teenagers, with equal skill." The New York Times
"Wonder's story is engaging - you'll find yourself rooting for August as he stumbles through a world that, by fifth grade, most kids find commonplace. He's plucky and funny and vulnerable and charming, so he's hard not to like. But it's in the bigger themes that Palacio's writing shines. This book is a glorious exploration of the nature of friendship, tenacity, fear, and most importantly, kindness." The Huffington Post
"Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us. I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman." Rebecca Stead, Newbery award-winning author of When You Reach Me
"It is the deceptive simplicity and honesty of the work that make Wonder so memorable. Every single character seems real and well drawn and oh-so human....This book is beautiful." Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy
"A beautiful story of kindness and courage. There are many real and well-developed characters, and they each have their shining moments. Of course, Auggie shines the brightest." Clare Vanderpool, Newbery award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest
"Wonder is a beautifully told story about heartache, love, and the value of human life. One comes away from it wanting to be a better person." Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery honor-winning author of Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods
"Wonder is a shining jewel of a story that cannot help but encourage readers of all ages to do better, to be better, in how they treat others in life. I'm totally in love with this novel." Trudy Ludwig, anti-bullying advocate and author of My Secret Bully, Confessions of a Former Bully,Better Than You, and Just Kidding
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers.
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder
R. J. Palacio is the author of Wonder. She lives in New York City with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.
About the Author
R. J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.
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