Auggie and me by R. J. Palacio
Corgi Books, 2015. ISBN 9780552574778
(Age: Upper primary - lower secondary) Highly recommended. I looked forward to reading Auggie and Me after the powerful emotional journey of Palacio's previous best seller Wonder.
Wonder, recounts the story of August (Auggie) Pullman who was born with a severe facial deformity that affected both his health and relationships with others.
Wonder is told from different viewpoints, one of them being Auggie's own reaction to going to school for the first time in his life, as a middle school aged student.
This novel is not a sequel to Wonder. In fact Palacio stresses that Auggie's story has been told.
'To be clear: Auggie and Me is not a sequel. It doesn't pick up where Wonder left off . . . In fact Auggie is only a minor character in these stories.'
The reader is able to see inside the minds of 3 other children.
The first is Julian, the bully from Wonder, who cannot deal with Auggie's appearance. His story gives an insight into his family and his own issues. Julian's grandmother is pivotal in allowing him to face his actions and come to terms with his behavior.
The second story is about Christopher, who is torn between his loyalty to Auggie and the challenge of being Auggie's oldest friend.
The last story is Charlotte's. She has to deal with changing friendship groups and make decisions about trustworthiness, kindness and compassion.
Every one of the three stories examines bullying and stereotyping and shows how each student deals with their problems. Middle school students will be able to relate to the issues that face Julian, Christopher and Charlotte.
Another impressive novel from Palacio and I highly recommend this book for upper primary to lower secondary students.