Nanjiba Recommends: Wonder by R.J Palacio

R.J. (Raquel Jaramillo) Palacio lives in New York with her husband, two sons and two dogs. For more than twenty years she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel is when you just go for it and start writing. Wonder is her first novel, a children’s book that’s a perfect summer read about how hard it is just being a kid. She didn’t design the cover, but she loves it. Her other books include: The Julian Chapter, Auggie & Me, Pluto, and Shingaling. All of which are children’s books related to Wonder in their own unique way.

According to the Goodreads website synopsis Wonder is about August (Auggie) Pullman who was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s been home schooled most of his life by his mother and has had to have a lot of surgeries, so home schooling seemed like the best option for him, but when our story begins, August is older now, so it raises the question: Is he ready to start school?  

He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?  –

I like how the writer demonstrated the story through the eyes of August, as well as several other characters in the novel. I felt this was a clever way to portray the story, as it shows how although people were shocked by his appearance, they began to overlook that and view him as a nice boy. Also this format of the novel shows how our main character has affected the lives of those around him, such as Jack who befriends August and tries to protect him from those that mock him. For me the moral of the story is to not judge others on their appearances. I think this book is a must-read because it shows the lives of people who are different, based on their appearance, physical and mental conditions and how they feel towards the reactions of “normal” people. Overall, Palacio has written a story that will have its young audience laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. Wonder is a great story with an important message behind it, it’s definitely a wonderful read for children, no matter their age


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