Hi everyone! For this week I wanted to write a book review on a book that I’ve recently read called Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book is geared towards kids ages 10-12, but I think it can be impactful for any age! (NOTE: There will be spoilers in this review so read with caution.)
Summary: The main character in this book is a boy named August Pullman. August has a major facial deformity and his parents, in order to protect him from teasing or bullying, homeschooled him for his elementary school years. When he reaches 5th grade his parents decide that he needs a more advanced education therefore they send him to a traditional school. August is very nervous at first, but soon finds that though some kids do stare at him, a lot of the kids are super nice and want to be his friend. He makes friends with a girl named Summer (yes, they make a lot of jokes about how their names are August and Summer) and a boy named Jack. However, Jack finds it hard to keep up the “cool” reputation while still being friends with August, so he says some pretty mean things about August to some other “popular” kids, not knowing that August was nearby and could hear. August goes home in tears and doesn’t plan on ever going back to school until his sister (Via) persuades him to go back.
When Jack finds out that August heard his mean comments, he sincerely sees the error of his ways and ask August if they can be friends again. Meanwhile, Julian, the most popular kid in school, is appalled that Jack (his former friend) would choose August over being “cool”, so he gets pretty much the whole school to give August, Jack, and Summer the silent treatment. But it doesn’t stop there. The kids send mean notes and do anything to show the three that they are social outcasts. One night when the fifth grade class is on a nature field trip, Jack, August, and a few other boys in their class find themselves alone in the woods. They run into some extremely rude 7th graders who not only say some of the meanest things you can think of about August’s face but they also get into a physical fight with the 5th grade boys. August is beyond hurt and on top of that humiliated at being seen crying in front of his classmates. But when those 7th graders said those mean things about August, his classmates (the ones who weren’t talking to him) stood up for him and didn’t like those big kids pushing around their fellow classmate. Their eyes were opened to what it’s like to be bullied, and they (like Jack) changed their ways.
Why I liked it: This book shows you that people who look different or seem different to you are just people who can be fun and nice if you get to know them. Also being “popular”, if you think about it, really doesn’t matter. What matters is being a good friend and making others feel loved and included.
In Wonder you get a peek into what it’s like to be teased and bullied. You may not have someone at your school with a facial deformity like August, but anything you say can impact someone’s feelings just the same. School is coming up (I know, I can’t believe it!). Think about what you say about someone else before you speak. Start the school year off well!
Thanks for reading this review! I hope you enjoyed it, and make sure to look for future posts. (If you subscribe to my blog then you won’t have to look for a new post- you will get an email anytime I post something new!)