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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'
August 'Auggie' Pullman is a ten-year-old boy, much like many other boys of his age, except that he was born with facial disfigurements. He has undergone countless operations but he is still aware of how different he looks from everyone else, and he is acutely aware of the diverse reactions he gets from people. The novel is narrated by several different voices, each in...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by L. H. Healy

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We all just need to be a little bit kinder to everybody...
I'd heard really good things about this book and it was chosen as our June book club read. I wouldn't normally read it so early but I couldn't wait.

The story is about August (Auggie) who has a facial disfigurement. He has tried his best to shy away from social interaction with people he doesn't know until his parents decide he should go to school. This is his...
Published 19 months ago by C. Rucroft


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special book, 21 Mar 2012
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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I have read hundreds of books but Wonder is the first one that has made me cry. Being a grown man I suppose I should be embarrassed, particularly as the book in question is classified as being for children. Actually though, I'm not embarrassed in the slightest as Wonder is an absolutely wonderful book, and only those who possess a heart of stone could fail to touched by it.

The story of August Pullman could have been a sad, downbeat tale; born with a terribly disfigured face little Auggie seems to have all life's cards stacked against him and when at the age of ten he has to go to school for the first time he is understandably concerned about the reaction of his fellow students. At first it seems that he was right to be worried, but the way that he rises above that through sheer strength of character slowly changes their attitudes towards him.

Some will no doubt criticise this book for being overly sweet, almost fairy tale-like. Whilst I can see their point surely they are also missing the point. Okay, most of the people in this book turn out to be good people and those that aren't get their comeuppance and no, this doesn't happen that often in real life, but wouldn't be great if it would? Reading this book allows you, for a short while at least, to get a glimpse of humanity at its best.

Wonder is a very special book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book!, 13 April 2012
This review is from: Wonder (Paperback)
This book was chosen by someone in my book group and I must admit my heart sank as I thought it would be another "mis lit" offering. How wrong I was! It is the story of August, a ten year old boy with a pronounced facial disfigurement. He has been home-schooled all his life and the novel follows his first year at middle school, told from his point of view and also that of those around him. Although dealing with a heartbreaking topic, the author approaches the subject with such humour and warmth that I found myself laughing out loud, as well as crying my eyes out. She perfectly captures the voices of each of the characters, but especially that of August who just wants to be a "normal" boy. It has been a long time since I have loved a book as much, or indeed since a novel has affected me as profoundly as this one. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this!, 3 Oct 2014
By 
This review is from: Wonder (Paperback)
Picked this up off teenage daughter's bed, intending to have a quick look at what she was reading ('cos I am nosy!) and suddenly I was on page 50!

Every single child/teenager over the age of 9 should read this amazing story. They should get rid of Stig of the Stupid Dump and put this on the school curriculum for every child in the land. It's really beautiful and moving and is easy to read for kids as the chapters are very short. It's written from various points of view and would be a wonderful tool for teachers, as I know from experience how difficult it can be to get 10 year olds to understand the concept of writing with different characters' voices.

Be warned. The end comes before you think it does as there's an extra bit that's been added into later editions from a previously untold character. I was on a train when I suddenly reached the end and I honestly struggled to hold it together in public!

A stunning book in every way.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We all just need to be a little bit kinder to everybody..., 29 May 2013
By 
C. Rucroft "The little bookworm" (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Paperback)
I'd heard really good things about this book and it was chosen as our June book club read. I wouldn't normally read it so early but I couldn't wait.

The story is about August (Auggie) who has a facial disfigurement. He has tried his best to shy away from social interaction with people he doesn't know until his parents decide he should go to school. This is his story about how he copes. The story is told from many different angles - Via (his sister), Jake (his friend), Summer (another friend) and Justin (Via's boyfriend.)

I read this story very quickly and felt sad at some of the things that Auggie said. It's difficult not to feel sorry for him, which of course isn't what he would want. I found it quite an easy read, which is a problem for me because this shouldn't be an easy read. It did leave me thinking about some of the messages, especially the one about kindness.

It didn't blow me away though. I think this is a very good children's book, that holds some important morals for all children. I would like to see it studied in schools. But it's not really an adults book in my opinion. It just lacked something.

This is a book I'm glad I read but I think it's slightly over hyped. A good children's book though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonder of a Story, 23 Aug 2014
This review is from: Wonder (Kindle Edition)
"Wonder" really works well in touching the human heart. Here we have a child with an unfortunate condition but he is surrounded by loving family and gains new loving friends.
Written in a narrative style, the author brings in different characters and we learn of them as they write from their viewpoints, including that of August, the main character.

This book targets younger readers and the author does a nice job of making the characters believable and relatable, although not all of them are "good" or "kind". However, the book works well for adults as well, serving a nonjudgmental reminder of how we as human should treat one another.

I recommend this book to readers of all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 16 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
Wonder is brilliant. It even tells you why it's called wonder. If you haven't read it - read it.

By Jenna, aged 7 x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manipulated, but with kindness ..., 12 May 2012
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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A ten year old boy starts at a new school in the fifth grade...
It's a good prep school, he passed the exam with flying colours...
It'll be the first time he's been to school, ever...
He's been home-schooled by his Mom...
Auggie (short for August) is clever, funny and loves Star Wars...
He doesn't have many friends, but his sister Via, and Daisy the dog make up for that...
Why? Because people stare, then look away quickly...
Auggie's face takes some getting used to...
He was born with multiple facial problems including a cleft palate...
But underneath it he's a normal boy, who just wants to be loved ...
It's going to be a hard year...

That is the essence of this book in a nutshell, which follows Auggie's first year in school. I'm not going to say much more about the plot, as you can work out what sorts of things will happen. This brave youngster is putting himself (and us) on a roller-coaster that will have huge ups and downs, many twists and turns before it pulls back in to the station for the summer recess.

Yes, we readers are manipulated. Yes, it's a bit sentimental, designed to tug at your heart-strings. But, it was unputdownable. I smiled when Auggie won battles, I got cross when he struggled, and at one point I did cry. I didn't mind all this though, for it was done with kindness.

Written for children, this book illustrates the issues of living with deformity really well. We start off with Auggie telling his own story, but in later chapters the tale is handed over to his sister and his friends, interspersed with more of Auggie's voice. We hear both sides, including what it's like being the sister or friend of someone like Auggie. There are many, many valuable points about bullying and friendship to be gleaned from Auggie and his classmates. Underlying it all though, as set out by their English teacher Mr Browne, in his `Precepts' for life, is the quality of being kind. He tells them, "When given the choice between being right or being kind. Be Kind."

I hope this book achieves a wide readership among boys and girls. They'll find that Auggie is actually great company - he's very self-deprecating and funny. The author captures the personalities of all the children brilliantly, as she does Auggie's parents. Speaking of parents, I also hope that enough of them read it too - there is one event later in the book that should be a lesson to all grown-ups about snobbishness and tolerance. It got me really cross!

It may have been predictable reading it as an adult, but I loved this novel. I laughed, I cried and I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COOL BEANS, 9 May 2012
By 
Sukie (South Coast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
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I was thrilled to have the chance to review this book; my eleven-year-old and I had been eyeing it up in a book shop just the day before - drawn in by the striking cover and intrigued by the contents.
She nabbed it to read first and emerged from her bedroom red-eyed and sniffling. "Oh Mum, you've GOT to read this next," she said. "It's amazing. It's just totally... COOL BEANS!"

She was right. This book IS amazing and totally cool beans. It is also deeply moving, uplifting and perfectly pitched; a book full of heart which makes you think twice. The central character, August, ten, is profoundly facially disfigured, despite countless operations. He is an ordinary kid who likes Star Wars and ice cream and his X Box yet his unusual appearance makes other children stare, and even adults aren't sure how to treat him. Now, for the first time ever, his parents decide he should start school and integrate with other children.

At first August is wary. He knows everyone will stare at him and mock him. He hears his dad fretting that he'll be a 'lamb to the slaughter' and even though he doesn't understand the phrase, he knows it isn't good. Scared and apprehensive, August takes the plunge, little knowing that as well as changing his own life, he'll affect the lives of many many others.

Narrated by August, his sister, and various other characters, this simply told story packs a powerful punch. Never sentimental, never cloying or schmaltzy, it is a triumph of hope over adversity. I hope you love it as much as we did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder is Wonderful, 13 April 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
I'm sure at some point in our lives we've all made judgements about people based purely on their appearance, even if not as an adult (although I find that very hard to believe!) then most certainly as a child. Too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, dumb blond, fiery tempered red head, bad hairstyle, poor skin - the list of things people criticise is endless! As much as we've all made snap judgements I'd also be willing to bet that we've all been on the receiving end to some degree or another too so really we should know what it feels like being judged for something you can't necessarily change about yourself.

Remember that pain of being teased for not quite fitting the "norm"? Now imagine you're a 10 year old child, one who was born with severe facial disfigurements due to a genetic disorder, one who has suffered through the pain of multiple operations but still comes nowhere near close to looking like everyone else. Imagine that you've spent your entire life being stared at every time you step out of the house having people pointing at you, whispering about you, some even screaming in terror and running away from you. Now you have an idea about how Auggie has felt every single day of his life, not nice is it? How do you think that would shape you as a person? Would it leave you feeling bitter? How about depressed, miserable or insecure? I think I'd probably be all of those things but that is where Auggie is a much better person than I am!

Despite the problems he faces Auggie is one of the most positive characters you'll ever come across. He is absolutely beautiful in every way that is important and I dare you to read his story and not fall in love with him. Auggie has been lucky enough to grow up with a supportive and loving family and that shows in his bright and bubbly personality. He has always been home schooled but his parents think it is time he faced the world and learnt to deal with people's reactions to him. Watching Auggie bravely go to school and cope with the stares and taunts he receives is heartbreaking but seeing him slowly find a place and getting to know his classmates is beautiful. Inside he is a normal little boy who loves doing all the things other children his age do and as people get to know him they start to see beyond his looks to the person he is underneath.

Wonder is a stunning book and one that will stay with me for a long time. It is written mainly from Auggie's point of view but we also get to see things through the eyes of his sister and a couple of his classmates and discover first hand the effect Auggie has had on their lives. From the minute I picked up this book I didn't want to put it down. I was on a real roller coaster of emotions from sad to angry to proud and right through to happy. I adored Auggie, his family and his new found friends. I hated the students at school who teased him but I really loathed some of the adults for their attitude. It was easier to forgive a young child for a cruel remark made without malice than an adult who should know better. I was outraged on Auggie's behalf and wanted to climb into the book to protect him.

Anyone who has ever been bullied for any reason will automatically be able to relate to Auggie but what I think is even more important is that it will make people think about the way they act towards others. It will make you appreciate what you have and it will make you want to be a better person. If you're going to read one book this year make it Wonder, I promise you won't regret it. Whatever R.J. Palacio writes next will be going straight to the top of my wish list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Cool Beans!, 25 Mar 2012
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wonder (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, all the wonderful things you're hearing about this book are true. I'm not usually a fan of children's/YA fiction and took some persuading to try this one but I'm so glad I did, it's a beautiful, totally life-affirming read which will have you laughing one minute and sobbing the next. It's difficult to put my thoughts into words without sounding schmaltzy or sycophantic, so please bear with me.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a severe facial disfigurement due to one of those genetic quirks of fate whereby both his parents were carrying a particular rogue gene. When I say `severe' disfigurement, I mean that some adults (despite their best intentions) literally shrink back with shock when they first see him, whilst others who are more PC and/or better prepared, just drop their eyes from his face for that tell-tale second, a subtle reaction Auggie is all too familiar with. Children can, of course, be brutally honest:

- Is it Halloween?
- No Jamie
- Then why is that boy wearing a mask?

Auggie's mother tried to protect him at first by home-schooling him, but his parents eventually decide that they need to face reality and send him to school. For the most part Auggie is sanguine and philosophical about his condition and the reaction he gets and certainly doesn`t wallow in self-pity, but what comes out more and more as the story develops is that underneath he's also a 10 year old boy who is entering that awkward stage of life and, despite the love and support of his close family, other people's reactions are starting to really matter - and it hurts.

What also shines out is that anyone who gets to know Auggie for any length of time, from his family to the friends he gradually makes at his new school, love and respect him with a passion.

Auggie narrates most of the book but his version of events is interspersed with those of his sister and some of their friends. At times I got really angry at the way some of the other characters, particularly fellow school children, behaved towards him and I wondered why they didn't support him more. However, when they start to tell their own stories I got an understanding of how difficult it can sometimes be to stand up for some who is `different' when you're just a kid yourself and don't want to stand out from the crowd.

When I finally put the book down I had a good cry (happy tears though!). I'm aware that from the blurb and some of the reviews (including mine) this could sound like a cheesy, tug-at-the-heartstrings kind of story which would be too sickly sweet for some readers. It's not - it's sharp, funny and very relevant. This is definitely not just a children's book - adults have just as much, if not more, to learn from it. RJ Palacio has created such a smart, funny and memorable character in Auggie and his story deserves to be read and savoured by as many people as possible.
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Wonder
Wonder by R J Palacio
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