Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Image via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Wonder is one of those books that just makes me want to say… Yes.

“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”

We’ve all been bullied before. Criticized or cast aside because of how we talk, what we wear, or who we hang out with. But I doubt that many of us have experienced anything like what August Pullman went through. Ten-year-old Auggie was born with a severe facial deformity, and despite his shining personality, is plunged into a world with people who cannot see past his appearance. Wonder details Auggie’s journey into the fifth grade, and serves as a stark and honest portrayal of the problems with being different.

I wish every fifth grader read this book. After reading Wendy’s wonderful review, I bought this book for my ten-year-old cousin as a birthday gift, before reading it myself. Wonder is probably the best gift I have given my cousin yet.

Auggie was an absolutely amazing protagonist. Palachio carves his character with the utmost precision, creating a sympathetic and strong ten-year-old who readers cannot help but cheer for. He has his whiny moments, like every little kid, but the ordeals he’s forced to overcome grant him a giant heart, too. I wanted to give him and all of his friends hugs (which, coming from an adolescent male, may sound strange) and beat up give a stern talk to everyone who was mean to him.

The plot worked wonders as well. Though the story is mainly told through Auggie’s point of view, there are also five other perspectives readers get to see the story through. Each voice contributed something superb to the development of the plot and to the fleshing out of Auggie’s personality and life experiences. There was never a dull moment, and I always wanted to know what would happen next.

I cannot laud Wonder enough. There were several small things that made me love the book, like how Auggie’s parents tried to provide him with the best life possible, and how his older sister, Olivia, was in a high school relationship that didn’t involve drugs or sex. When I read Summer’s perspective, I thought to myself, why can’t every little girl be this spectacular? Mr. Browne’s precepts, Jack Will, Miranda, Justin, Daisy, and even Julian, all played a part in making this book what it was.

I want to end my review by thanking R.J. Palacio for writing what will be my birthday gift to every little kid I see for a long time. This is a book I want my kids to read, my cousins to read, and even for my teachers’ kids to read. Heck, everyone should read this. It is a life lesson about kindness, compassion, and human connection. It is a testament to the strength we all have within us, not only to withstand the pain of stinging words, but to take a stand for what we believe is right.


Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

7 responses to “Wonder by R.J. Palacio

  1. Great review Thomas, glad you enjoyed the book so much! I kept seeing this one come up on my Amazon suggestions but knew nothing about it. After your review, I might just give it a go.

  2. Ohhh, Thomas! I’m so glad you loved this book as much as I did. I love your review too, and I’m sure it will help readers to find their way to it. 🙂

  3. Brilliant review! I guess the reason I loved this book so much, is because it taught me a very personal message. I now know that being kind just isn’t enough. After closing the covers I made a promise to myself that from then onwards I’d always try to be kinder than necessary… And so I thank R.J Palacio very much for improving me as a person!

    • I agree, this book transcends the mundane “be nice to everyone” message and makes you feel almost obligated to perform pulchritudinous acts of kindness. Glad you enjoyed it – thank you for reading and commenting!

  4. Does anyone know what page number the Halloween quote is on?

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