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Wonder by R. J. Palacio
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Wonder (edition 2012)

by R. J. Palacio

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2,1952602,956 (4.4)156
Member:_debbie_
Title:Wonder
Authors:R. J. Palacio
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:young adult, fiction, deformity, bullying, kindness

Work details

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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English (250)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (259)
Showing 1-5 of 250 (next | show all)
There are no words. It is that good. ( )
  Renee.Brandon | Jul 5, 2014 |
I loved this book - it should be required reading for all 5th graders. The message was so simple but so powerful. These are believable characters that kids can relate to. ( )
  susan.h.schofield | Jul 3, 2014 |
I know this book seems to be universally adored, but I found it too lovey-dovey and saccharine. Not that I'm sorry I read it. ( )
  sleahey | Jun 27, 2014 |
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a young adult novel that should be required reading for all ages. August is a fifth grader suffering with severe genetic facial deformities. He is adored and overly protected by his loving family. In the past August had been home schooled, but now a family decision has been made to enroll him in a private school.

The book is told from many perspectives; August, his sister Via, Via's boyfriend Justin, Via's childhood friend Miranda, and August's new friends Jack and Summer all offer insight into their feelings and emotions of navigating in a world that fears difference and imperfection. Oddly, at least to this reader, August's parents aren't given the opportunity to express their viewpoint firsthand, but their strength and overwhelming love for their family is revealed through their actions and interactions with the other characters.

While August's life is unique, the story is about an extraordinary boy living an ordinary life. The everyday complications that children face growing up are August's complications as well, but magnified. It was interesting to see how one person can touch so many lives. August's difficulties rippled out and affected others in many differing ways. But, the novel also showed the reverse too, an act of kindness or courage can be contagious just as an act of cruelty, ignorance or fear.

At the end of the book, you realize why the author entitled the book Wonder, but I had my own ideas as well. I wonder how I would react if faced with the same set of circumstances, as a parent, a sister, a friend. I wonder if I could act, do and be better, if we all could. ( )
1 vote 2LZ | Jun 26, 2014 |
A truly delightful and sensitively done middle grade novel. August is a fabulous and likeable character that you learn so much from and he really makes you think on how you treat others that are just a little bit different. Story is realistic and painfully raw and honest. Nothing ever feels forced and while the author is showing you that you have to look through the physical to see the person beneath, it is never done in a preachy way. You will laugh and cry at the same time. Oh yeah just an FYI, there is a death of a pet, but it is perfectly done (I am a wee bit sensitive with deaths of children and animals -- I know I know, I am such a wimp, but I wanted to warn others like me). It is a tough read at time, as the way Auggie is treated at times is horrendous. I really enjoyed the chapters told from the other characters point of view, as it really rounded out the story. The chapters from his sisters point of view, really grabbed me. As a mom of a special needs child, it made me think about how I treat his little brother. I loved the central message of the story as well as some of the little life messages that we should take away from the story. This is an almost absolutely perfect novel, I just felt the speech by Mr Tushman at graduation was a little over the top and cheesy (I was rolling my eyes), but that is my only real complaint aboout the book.

Favorite Quotes

"“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

“It's like people you see sometimes, and you can't imagine what it would be like to be that person, whether it's somebody in a wheelchair or somebody who can't talk. Only, I know that I'm that person to other people, maybe to every single person in that whole auditorium.
To me, though, I'm just me. An ordinary kid.”

But hey, if they want to give me a medal for being me, that's okay. I'll take it. I didn't destroy a Death Star or anything like that, but I did just get through the fifth grade. And that's not easy, even if you're not me.”

R.J. Palacio
“You don't need your eyes to love right? You just feel it inside you” ( )
  mountie9 | Jun 21, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Doctors have come from distant cities/just to see me/stand over my bed/disbelieving what they're seeing,
They say I must be one of the wonders/of god's own creation/and as far as they can see they can offer/no explanation
-Natalie Marchant, "Wonder"
Dedication
For Russell, Caleb, and Joseph
First words
I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid.
Quotations
Now here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with one's heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Mr. Browne's Precepts: September - When given the choice between being righ or being kind, choose kind. -Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
February - It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. -James Thurber
March - Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. -Blaise Pascal
May - Do all the good you can,/By all the means you can,/In all the ways you can,/In all the places you can,/At all the times you can,/To all the people you can,/As long as you ever can. -John Wesley's Rule
Shall we make a new rule of life...always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary? -J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird
"Kinder than is necessary," he [Mr. Tushman] repeated. What a marvelous line, isn't it? Kinder than is necesary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of knindness. -Palacio, p. 300
... Joseph recognized the face of God in human form. It glimmered in their kindness to him, it glowed in their keenness, it hinted in their caring, ideed it caressed in their gaze. - Christopher Nolan, Under the Eye of the Clock
"It glimmered in their kindness to him ... Such a simple thing, kindness. Such a simple thing. A nice word of encouragment given when needed. An act of friendship. A passing smile." -Palacio, p. 300.
It's like how compass needles always point north, no matter which way you're facing. All those eyes are compasses, and I'm like the North Pole to them. [Auggie, 206]
I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives. [Auggie, 231]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie Pullman is shy, bright ten-year-old who has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375869026, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, February 2012: Wonder is a rare gem of a novel--beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Homeschooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience--something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” From The Little Prince and R.J. Palacio’s remarkable novel, Wonder.--Seira Wilson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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