Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Book Review: Wonder - Highly Recommend
"R.J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power." - inside cover endorsement that is dead on.
August "Auggie" Pullman is a unique individual. Having been homeschooled for all of his life because of medical issues and surgeries related to a deformity of his face, Auggie is about to enter the public school for the first time for his fifth grade year. Starting at a new school is difficult for anyone. Add in the obstacle of the stares and reactions of the entire school to something you cannot change and you have more trouble than any child should have to face alone. Thankfully, Auggie is not alone. He has family and friends to help him get through the transition and his beautiful story will move any reader.
I cried as I attempted to read this touching story aloud to my youngest son, Sean. Of course, when they mentioned that one of Auggie's many deformities involved a case of hemi-facial microsomia, Sean perked up because that is the condition his oldest brother, Bryce, has. Of course, Bryce has a mild enough form of it that he has never received a single taunt or sideways glance. Indeed, I would dare say most people wouldn't even be able to discern the difference in size between the right and left sides of his face.
For a first novel, Wonder is pure gold. The storytelling is natural and compelling. The characters shine. Each narrator propels the story along with deeper understanding. The plot continues to move along at a nice pace. Moreover, there is such a wealth of wisdom and compassion portrayed in this novel. It is definitely an experience I want to share with others. It fully deserves its spot as a #1 New York Times bestseller. I will be recommending this book to as many readers as I can find.