R. J. Palacio
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.  In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder


Reviewed: 2018-01-01

Loved this book.  It teaches such an important lessons about acceptance, what being brave really means, and peer pressure.   

Reviewed: 2017-09-15
Alfred A. Knopf
Reviewed: 2017-09-11


Some stuff about this felt pretty forced. The dog part and the award part didn't feel super well-seeded to me. But I did cry and overall characters had some believable yet unexpected and touching twists. Really enjoyable read with great lesson about empathy.

Overall: Katniss would want August to win The Hunger Games.

Reviewed: 2017-02-09


Description:  A boy with a facial deformity goes to school with other children for the first time as a fifth grader.  This hartwrenching tale of coming of age and acceptance brings him from outcast to leader.

Location:  personal library

Reviewed: 2017-01-17

I like this book because of the relationships that it delves into, showing commitment, family and the difficultities of fitting in. It makes your heart swell and hurt at the same time. Jessie L.

Reviewed: 2016-11-08

Wonder is one of those books that you can never seem to put down. Even though the book is a bit long, it doesn't seem so long because of how intriguing it is! This book is about 10-year-old August Pullman who has a face deformity and has been homeschooled his whole life up until now. His mother feels as though that he needs to learn more and face the world where not everyone will be so kind to August because of his appearance. August begins his real school adventure in 5th grade and the book is about all of the obstacles he faces such as making friends and dealing with friends that are one way to him but then talk about August when they aren't with him. This book is truly about the different traits that the main character, August, portrays such as bravery and perserverance. I really like this book because it not only is a good book for pointing out character traits, but it also has some great lessons in it. Such themes in this book are that we shouldn't judge someone based on how they look. We are all unique in our own way and our appearance doesn't make us who we are. This book also shows many different forms of kindness not only from August, but also from his on and off again friend, Jack. 

Reviewed: 2016-11-07

I seem to have a soft spot for underdogs. Every book I have read for class that I have absolutely adored has been an underdog story. Wonder is not an exception. August Pullman, or Auggie, lets you know that he is the underdog of underdogs. He is the piece of moldy cheese on the playground no one wants to touch. But even through that, he is kind, smart, funny, and optimistic. For someone in fifth grade who should be cynical and bitter, he does nothing but keep a bright and sarcastically funny attitude about life. He goes through some major obstacles, and as I was reading the book, there are things I wouldn’t be comfortable dealing with. But he never once gives up or looks negatively on what life has dealt him. It is no wonder (pun not intended) they are making this book into a movie. This message, the characters, the style of writing all combine into a brilliant quick and heartfelt read. The whole book isn’t told in just Auggie’s point of view, which I found very interesting. His sister, sister’s boyfriend, and best friends all get a turn to tell their story. It’s fresh and new to see the events told in many people’s eyes. It adds a layer to a book that might have otherwise been repetitive and, truthfully, quite depressing. 


I would have children read this in general just because of the underdog message. It is no doubt one of those books you recommend to children as they grow and find themselves. In an academic setting, I would use this book in a point of view lesson. The book shows the same situation or event in the story line happening from many different point of views. It would be interesting for children to explore what all of these different view points mean and the author’s craft of choosing that view point for that specific moment. This is a book I would save for upper elementary and middle school, just due to the nature and theme of the book; I don’t think younger kids would have a full grasp at all the book has to offer. There are many other ways to use this book in the classroom: as a read aloud, as a social studies lesson, as a vocabulary lesson (Auggie knows some pretty big words i.e how to correctly say supposedly) among many other things. Author’s craft would be my personal preference, but even something as a differences in character discussion would suit this book. It’s versatile, humbling, and a book to look out for. I can’t wait to see the movie. 

Reviewed: 2016-11-01
Reviewed: 2016-10-20
"Wonder" by RJ Palacio tells the story trough the narration of a boy named Auggie with a facial deformity, causing him to have what's commonly known as a cleft palate. Being home schooled for almost his entire life, it hasn't given Auggie the chance to meet friends or live the normal life of a typical 10-year-old. Auggie is now being enrolled in middle school and finds himself enjoying making new friends, even though he was hesitant at first. However, Auggie faces an immense amount of bullying from a few, causing him to doubt if school is truly the best option for him. Through much trials and tribulations, "Wonder" teaches students about the key and overall theme of acceptance. This heartfelt text is a must read for young adults because of the lessons it instills into its readers such as courage and friendship and how it can affect someone else's life. Lessons would include a storyboard activity where the students will create comic strips and character maps, putting themselves in Auggie's shoes, and telling a scene from the story from his perspective.
Reviewed: 2016-09-24


By: P.J. Palacio

            When reading the book Wonder I immediately thought of how beneficial it is for teachers to read this book. The book is about a boy named August who has facial deformities. Because of the severity of his facial abnormalities, he was homeschooled until middle school. The story line takes place when August is beginning to attend a school for the first time. The story made me realize that as a future teacher students will always have insecurities about themselves. I think it is extremely important to create a classroom environment where all students feel welcomed and safe.

            This book is definitely something I would recommend for fifth grade students. I chose to read this book because where I intern every teacher received this text last year, and therefore multiple teachers recommended the book.

            In regards to lesson ideas I think that this book teaches students the importance of friendship, loyalty, and equality. Although this book is about a young boy with a severe facial deformity I think it can be related to those with special needs as well as those with insecurities.

            In the book August was not wanted by many of the students at his school. One parent even complained about letting August attend the school. However, August was able to make a close set of friends. I think that this book displays to students how painful it can be for a child to be excluded from their classmates.

 I also think that the story does a wonderful job at giving different points of views of the story. There are several sections within this book, and a different character writes each section. Therefore the readers are able to see the story through the lens of August, his sister, his friend, and more characters. I really think this is great for students because they can see that one event can appear differently depending on the person.

 Although the story described bullying and painful events that August had to experience, it also displayed positive events. For example, at the end of the book the story concluded with August receiving a reward at his middle school graduation. I think this book sends a powerful message to young adults about the importance of facing your fears and trying your best.

Lastly, I thought it was very interesting that the author does not include any images of what August looks like. When reading with this book I struggled to imagine what August would look like because I had never seen or heard of some of the descriptions that were included in the book. Because no image is included of the character, the reader must develop a mental image of the character through the descriptive details that were provided by the author. I think this could lead into a powerful discussion about the importance of using creative and specific details during your own writing.

I think this book is definitely worth incorporating into upper elementary grade classrooms. However, because of its difficulty and content I would recommend this text for fifth grade students.

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