Review Blog

Feb 11 2013

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

cover image Bodley Head, 2012. ISBN: 9780370332284. 320 pages.
Recommended for 11+. You often have lots to thank your friends for, sometimes it's something very specific. In this case, I have to thank my friend Barb (Braxton) for urging me to read Wonder by R. J. Palacio.
Middle school is a tough time for most kids as friendships make or break, as they struggle to come to grips with moving all over the class, surviving being the smallest in the school pond and facing a whole spectrum of new challenges. Auggie Pullman faces all these and more. August has never been to school before - he's been homeschooled his whole life - because Auggie has a severe facial deformity, the result of bizarre genetic circumstances. His challenge is not only to survive the normal melee of middle school but to show that beyond the extraordinary face is an ordinary boy.
This book made me laugh and made me cry. It made me think about the way I look at people. It made me think about courage and the unconditional love which seems to just flow from some people.
Last night my Italian friend was explaining tiramisu to me -he said it is a dessert with a purpose. The ingredients combine to give the diner a gastronomic high that will carry them through an evening of dancing and partying after a typical Italian feast. He said tiramisu, it literally means 'to lift [one] up'.
As I finished Wonder about an hour after his explanation, I thought to myself, this is a tiramisu book - it truly lifts me up.
Sue Warren

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