Monday, February 25, 2013

Wonder by R.J. Palacio



I read a lot of good books but only once in a while does a book come along that I want to share with everyone I know. A book that transcends genres and literary tastes. A book everyone should love unless they have a heart of stone. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is such a book.

If you've been to a book store in the last six months then I'm sure you've seen this striking cover. I read the blurb but I never picked it up because I'd never heard of the author and I wondered if the story would somehow be like that 80s movie Mask with Eric Stoltz and Cher. It was a good film but I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book about a child with a facial deformity. In the first chapter of the book, little Auggie writes, "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."

Well during a book slump, it's always good to pick up a simple book and YA novels usually make the cut so I downloaded Wonder on my Kindle. I wasn't expecting to love it but I did. This is truly a rare and unexpected gem. Immediately after reading it, I wanted to purchase a hardbound copy to have in my library  just so my kids could read it one day, with me and without me. This is a special book, one that reminds us once again of what it is to be human.

August Pullman is 10-years-old and has had 27 surgeries in his young life. The book begins when Auggie enters middle school after being home schooled for most of his life. Here, Auggie comes face to face with the beauty and sometimes ugliness of his peers. I don't want to give too much away but this was truly a moving book. Loved it!

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

 “Kinder than is necessary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”

“No, no, it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn't. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.” 

12 comments:

  1. I want to read this! It seems like something that I'd really, really like!

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    1. Read it please! I'm sure you'll love it.

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  2. Mask is one of my favorite movies from the 80's. If it has any similarities to that film, I think I'd love the book. It may have been a tough topic to watch, but it does make for a great story.

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    1. It did remind me of Mask. Of course it's lighter since it's fiction and a children's book. I do recommend it if you loved Mask.

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  3. I definitely want to read this. I've walked by it in bookstores too, admired the cover, and moved on. Next time I'll pick it up and move toward the checkout line. Thanks!

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  4. It's a great book. I read it, then I made my kids read it...and then I told their teachers that they needed a class set!

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    1. I can't wait to read it to my kids. They're still too young for it but I'm looking forward to rereading it with them.

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  5. That sounds like a meaningful YA book. Thanks for sharing. You know, first look at the book cover I thought of A Clockwork Orange. LOL!

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    1. You're right, it does look like the cover of A Clockwork Orange.

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  6. You are spot on about this book! I absolutely loved it! And OMG! I forgot about that movie Mask - what a great movie! This is one of my favorite reads of the year!

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  7. I've seen the cover pop up, but I wasn't even aware about the synopsis of the book (shame on me). This one does sound good, and with all of the press about bullying over the past couple years I wonder if this book might be the perfect grade-wide reading assignment for school.

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