Monday, April 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: WONDER BY R. J. PALACIO

Book: Wonder
Author: R. J. Palacio
Publisher: Books for Young Readers
Rating: *****/5 stars
Goodreads 

Synopsis:

August was born with a facial deformity in which he barely has ears, his eyes are lower than they should be, and his mouth is quite small. He does not attend school until Fifth Grade in which he is enrolled at a private school in Upper Manhattan. How will the students at August's school react to having August as a peer and will he make friends?

Review:

As someone who grew up with a facial deformity I knew I had to read this book. Unlike August though, I began school in kindergarten (and attended daycare before that) so the students in my class were used to me. That didn't make my time at school any less difficult but it did mean that most of the students in my class didn't stare at me.

Palacio wrote Augusts' story from different perspectives (his older sister, her boyfriend, his friends from school, his sister's friend) and I felt like that was a nice twist on the story. I often forget that my older sister went through her own difficulties (well I don't forget, I just remember always being hurt when she wouldn't do things with me).

August has real concerns about attending school and he takes most of it the way I took it (I either ignored it or made a joke of it). I used to wear leg braces in my primary years and so on top of having a facial deformity, I wore leg braces so I totally understood why August was so upset about having to get a hearing aid. Something so insignificant can be a big deal.

The author did not spare the main character heartache and challenges which I think is so important because she knows his whole life will be that way. There will always be challenges to overcome and some will seem like the world is crashing in around you and others you will want to take a running leap at for all the excitement but the thing is, those challenges happen and you move on from them. Life goes on and that is what I took from this book.

I was lucky, I was able to have a surgery (I had to wait till I had stopped growing) and things were better. There are still challenges that make me want to hide in my bed but like August, I persevere.

I give Wonder 5/5 stars because it was a spectacular read. The author was able to grasp different sides of his story and I really valued the different perspectives.

Have you read Wonder? If so what did you think?

DFTBA,
Tara

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