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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 August 2014
My daughters review:
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!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 October 2014
This is the story of August Pullman, a boy with a cranio-facial distortion so severe that he has undergone countless operations and been home-schooled until the age of ten. He starts middle school with great trepidation and predictable many of the children are horrified or afraid of his face. He makes some real friend, too.

The story is charmingly told from the points of view of August himself, his sister and several of his classmates. It’s told very directly and its simplicity is its strength. It’s impossible not to love the little boy and it’s a great feat of writing that it never descends into sentimentality. A wonderful story.
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on 30 April 2016
I read this myself before giving it to my 10 year old grandson. I gave him a brief outline of the story, then left it with him. He read it in a short time and chatted about issues he hadn't considered before. He liked the way the story is told from different points of view and stated that it made him laugh and sometimes cry, but mainly think. Quite a confession from a football mad 10 year old lad!
He asked if there were other books by the same author and is now reading Auggie and Me. I bought 365 days of Wonder for him, which has a precept - a term used in the first book - for each day of the year.
I believe most children and adults would benefit from reading this book, which is cleverly constructed.
Although some of the terminology is typically American, I would say that most children are used to that from watching TV shows and reading other American books.
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on 21 June 2014
I had never heard of this book, and just gave it a go because I was bored. I got into it from the moment I started.
It has a lot of heart and though, being English, Middle school isn't something that I had to go through , it was easy to identify with the characters. I'm not sure which age range this book is best for as I think that it is layered in a way that there are moments that will resonate differently for different age groups.

The Kindle text-to-speak would stop quite often for no reason, and also just skipped chapter and part headings.

I am very glad that I bought this book: Auggie is, indeed, a wonder.
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on 30 December 2015
I read this book in just over 24 hours - it is one of the few books that I have read which have fulfilled that litmus test set down by my wife - and that is you should care about the characters. This is a book where the apparent simplicity of the prose entrances your imagination so that you come to care deeply about all of the characters. The fact that the story progresses in a spiral way through the voices of a number of different people is instrumental in forging that bond between the characters and you. And like all good bonds, this book gets you to reflect on how you view and think about "otherness", in light of the honesty which many of the people in the story confront their own love for August, the main character. A must read for all those who care about the future of the human condition. On a personal note, I loved the way that the Star Wars references are woven throughout the book!
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on 17 November 2014
Wonder is about a young boy named August who is just about to join a mainstream school after being home schooled all his life. August has a facial disfiguration that has always made him "not normal" in the eyes of others. After a life of being stared at and spoken about, August is unsure that school is the right place for him, but soon realises he enjoys it a lot more than he first thought.

It's hard to review Wonder in a critical, objective way since my feelings and emotions get in the way every time I try. This book was amazing and even though it made me cry, it's one of the best children's books I've ever read. I do feel as though the reason it made me cry was that it hit a little too close to home, rather than purely for the book itself, although I found some parts hard to read.

The book is from the perspective of several characters - starting with a section from August. The sections include August's sister and some of his new friends. Whilst showing us August's transaction into a mainstream school, the book also teaches us lessons on friendships, bullying and the necessity of being nice. Everybody should read this book, no matter how old they are. It will touch your heart.
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on 19 December 2014
Wonder is the story of August, a 10 year-old boy who was born with a facial dis-figuration (there was a proper long name for it, but I've forgotten). The story starts off being narrated by August but then moves around to be told by his family and friends. August has been home schooled up to now, but his parents decide to put him into a main-stream school. This is the story of his first year at school.

I really enjoyed this novel, I liked that it was narrated by children who have a wonderful honesty about them. I started off feeling so sorry for August and was almost dreading his first day at school on his behalf, but this is such an uplifting story that I was soon really enjoying it.

August comes across lots of bullying, some more obvious than others. I liked the way this was dealt with in the story, it was wonderful that August found himself some real friends although I don't know how realistic it was. In my experience children want to belong to a pack, anything different scares them. I remember being bullied just for sitting next to an unpopular kid in school, let alone being friends with them.

I really loved August's home life, his parents and sister all love each other so much, I think this gave August the strength to work through his troubles. It was interesting to see other characters' reactions to August's family and how much fun they have. I realised that there are worse things than being born with a disability, as long as you surround yourself with people who love you, you can never fail.

This novel has a strong moral story which is very inspiring, this book made me feel good about myself, other people and life. I think this would be a great one for children to read to teach them about how bullying can affect people and how being kind is better than being popular.
"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind"
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on 17 June 2014
My son (12) suggested that I would find this book directed more towards children than adults, but anyone with an ounce of compassion will be totally drawn into it. I adored the style, with each section written by a different character, so that you could interpret the story from various points of view. Auggie is a child any mother would be proud to call her own, despite his many difficulties in life.

Once you have read this I implore you to read 'Julian's Chapter'. I thought that was even more amazing! There are always two sides to a story . . .
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on 27 March 2015
I bought this as a present for my 11 year old niece, when I read the reviews I couldn't resist buying a copy for myself. And I'm glad I did! I started this book as a bed time read but couldn't put it down, ended up staying up for "just one more chapter" (several times) and I then finished it the next day.

What I love most about this story is each character has so many levels and you really do empathize with each person's view point. the content and language are all child friendly and the story has so many layers - I can see this becoming a firm favourite! I just have to wait on her to finish it so we can have a good chat about it :) the Julian Chapter really was excellent too, it gave a whole other element to consider. Overall, I loved this book and had that great, bittersweet feeling of not wanting the story to end, but loving the ending.
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on 21 February 2013
This is a great book for teenagers to read to learn about empathy.
It's the story of August Pullman's travails during his delayed first year at school - he and his family have already (sort of) come to terms with his facial and medical issues (the legacy of a cruel genetic permutation), but now it's the turn of others (fellow school children and their parents) to see life with different eyes. It's a compelling tale, told from the different perspectives of Auggie and the orbiting characters (family and friends), and one that is crying out for the full Hollywood treatment (Oscars guaranteed). It builds to an end that may be predictable, but is nonetheless overwhelmingly moving and powerful.
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