Wonder – R. J. Palacio

Wow.  I’ve been sorting through everything I’ve read lately, trying to narrow down the reading list for my school next year.  Wonder will be on the list.  Auggie was born with severe craniofacial deformities.  He’s had twenty seven surgeries.  He has been home schooled until the fifth grade when he enrolls in middle school.  “. . . Sending him off to middle school like a lamb to the slaughter”, says his father.  He encounters the ups and downs of middle school life.  He makes friends, is betrayed by friends, discovers bullies, and makes more friends.  Auggie has the wonderful, supportive, kind, amazing family that everyone deserves.  They are his strength and he is theirs.  The story is told with a light heart, smiling one minute, then misty-eyed the next.  The writing is smooth, flowing, meaningful, and easily consumed.  This was a one-rainy-day read for me.  Told primarily in Auggie’s voice, we also hear from Summer and Jack (new friends), Via (sister), Justin (sister’s boyfriend), and Miranda (sister’s friend).  More than a story of dealing with craniofacial deformities, it is a story about relationships and about life.  Brilliant.  It is a must read for everyone.

 NetGalley Review  Publication date 2.14.12

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