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Wonder Hardcover – 14 Feb 2012
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#1 New York Times bestsellerA School Library Journal Best of Children's Books A Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books A Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books A Booklist Best of Children's Books "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 Slate.com:
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year." Entertainment Weekly:
"In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turner filled with characters you can't help but root for." The New York Times:
"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 Wall Street Journal
"What makes R.J. Palacio's debut novel so remarkable, and so lovely, is the uncommon generosity with which she tells Auggie's story...The result is a beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation." The Huffington Post:
"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." "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 Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"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."
Starred Review, Booklist
"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." Starred Review, School Library Journal
"Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters...A well-written, thought-provoking book." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder."
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.Learn more about R.J. Palacio and the world of Wonder at wonderthebook.com.
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Wonder is the type of book that made me constantly go 'aww' and have tears welling in my eyes. It follows the story of ten year old, August, who was born with a disorder that makes him unlike everyone else. August has had to deal with people staring at his appearance ever since he could remember, whether they were in the street, at home, his sisters friends or even professionals. He's always had to hide himself away because there were people constantly doing a double take to stare at him once again. It definitely doesn't help that his parents protected him so much and homeschooled him, so he was unaware of friends and the harsh truth of everyday life. So when they make the drastic change to send August to a normal school, August feels his heart breaking with anxiety and worry. Before he knows it he is shoved into a school where there are bullies, friends and jerks. Although August finds some friends along the way, people are still not getting used to him. And August feels like he has to hide away for ever.
This book was beautifully compelling. I love the structure of the book, too. It adds a definite twists to the plot of the story, as you read everyones perspectives on August and find out what everyone else is feeling compared to his usual fear of socialising. It also adds a new feel to the book when you're reading the backstory of his sister and how she is tossed aside for August as you're gradually building up on everyones view on August and how people see people. There are chapters in the perspective of friends also which allows you to understand whats going on behind August's back when he's joining this school and thinking everything is really working out for him.
The plot overall, was definitely a shocker to me. I knew that August had a facial disorder which meant his appearance was altered slightly, however I never thought it involved all the heartache and uplifting that this book offers. There is a mixture of fights, truth, upset, heartache and even death at one point, which are all struggles of someone whose growing up, but even worse for someone whose different to everyone else. Its enchanting to read how August copes with it all and how strong he is when someone calls him names, and it definitely tripped my emotions whenever someone was harsh or offensive. The ending also had a great thriving feeling to it, and it made me feel really happy. All of my emotions spilled out at one point because I felt like I was emotionally connected with August.
R.J Palacio has definitely worked well to build her characters. They're fleshy enough to make you grasp valid opinions as well as having enough back story and detail to make you connect with them emotionally. Also, I found that the alternating perspective also allowed you to re-evaluate the story, which as a really nice touch. Honestly, I felt very sorry for August in this book and felt like crying alongside him as well as punching everyone who had upset him and R.J Palacio has beautifully presented the feelings of bullying, insecurities as well as harsh disorders.
I'd recommend this story to anyone, really. Any age, any gender. I feel like sensitive people would find the emotional connection powerful but I also feel like people who aren't connective to characters at all would still sympathise with August and all of the other characters. I feel like this book is going to go in the direction of The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time because it has that same sort of feel, although being different. Absolutely loved it!
First of all, August was not like any other kid because he did not have everything that you would need on a face. Also, he did not go to school until the age of ten. When he started school, he only had two friends, Jack and Summer. In school, he had a fight with one of his best friends, Jack. It started when it was Halloween and August was meant to be coming in as Boba Fett and he changed his mind at the last minute and came as Bleeding Scream instead. He heard Jack say that he was a freak and that is what started the first fight. Then August needed hearing aids. The second fight happened like this: Jack and August were partners for a science project and then at the end of class, Julian asked if he and Jack could be together but Jack did not want to. Julian accused him of wanting to be with the 'freak' instead.
The thing I liked about the book is how R.J. Palacio structure the story: August had no friends at the beginning and at the end he had a whole bunch.
I would rate this book 10 out of 10. I would recommend it to people who like some bits of a story to be happy and funny but other bits sad. I would also recommend it to children who are nine or ten years old.
Written by Zhennuo Wang, aged 9.
The moral of the story is about kindness, because it is a sad fact of life that a lot of humans (both adults and children) feel uncomfortable around people with disabilities or deformities and go to great lengths to either avoid them altogether or else make cruel and spiteful jibes. If children were made to read and discuss this book at school as part of their coursework, it would be an excellent lesson in humility, understanding and kindness - far more important in life than Shakespeare!
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This was funny sad happy brilliant!