It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of the YA genre, I love feeling like a teen again, but more importantly, I love that there typically tends to be a positive message infused into the plot of each YA novel I read. Reading R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder” only solidified my love of YA reading, because her novel was filled with life lessons and helped to reinforce the life lessons that adults should already be portraying in their day to day lives.
We’re introduced to ten year August, or as his family calls him “Auggie”. Auggie is just like any other ten year old, he loves Star Trek and he still likes to receive hugs from his Mom (when no one’s looking of course). But Auggie is different in lot of ways too, because even though he does all the same activities as other young boys and girls, he doesn’t look the same as everyone else. Born with a facial deformity at birth, he’s encountered countless surgeries to help him achieve a “normal” face, but regardless of all the surgeries, his face still causes others to gasp when they meet him for the first time. Of course Auggie senses their hesitation and he is comfortable being in seclusion in his parents home so he doesn’t have to face the stares and discrimination on a daily basis.
However, there comes a time when it’s important to face the world regardless of what others might have to say (or think) and that’s why Auggie’s parents have decided to enroll him into the 5th grade at Beecher Prep. Of course there is some hesitation on their end of the spectrum, but they know that once people get to know their son that everyone will love and adore him as much as they do.
As a reader, you’ll enter the fifth grade with Auggie, but you’ll see it in a completely different perspective, because you’ll feel the pain associated with every obstacle Auggie faces, like trying to make new friends or having others thinking you have a disease that can be caught be a simple touch. But you’ll also sense the change in the children around him as they began to learn that treating others differently because of their appearance is wrong and unfair.
This a story simply took my breath away. I laughed, I cheered and I cried (all over my ipad, major fail). It’s a story of perseverance, strength and how to overcome adversity. I’ve been recommending it to everyone over the last week, because it’s that good. If you’re in the market for a YA book, you need to read R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder”, I guarantee you that it’ll take your breath away too.