Wonder by R.J. Palacio


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

In Wonder, August Pullman is facing going to school for the first time in 5th grade. He was born with a facial deformity that required several surgeries and medical attention during his younger years. His parents homeschooled him for a time, but he is smart and they feel he might be more challenged at a local prep school. At first, he doesn’t want to go – he knows how people will react. He is almost used to the stares, gasps and pointing in public, but to face it day after day all day long seems like too much. He gets to visit the school over the summer and ends up meeting a few kids. They treat him okay, so he decides to go. No one at the school will ever be the same.

I have heard about Wonder for years, but never got around to reading it. Now, I wish I had read it sooner. It is a wonderfully told story that will capture any reader’s heart. Two of my daughters also read it with me and we all loved the story. A movie based on the book is coming out in a few months, so many kids in their school are reading the book, too.

Here’s what my daughters thought of the book:

“Wonder is a book about a young boy named August who doesn’t have a normal face. He has been homeschooled all his life until now but his parents think he is ready to go to school. This book is about his journey through 5th grade. I would recommend this book to kids 10 years old and up. During his 5th grade journey, August learns that no matter how you look, you are still a ‘wonder.'”

“One of the best things I have ever read!. How an ordinary yet extraordinary boy survives 5th grade.” 

August deals with true and fake friendships, family dynamics and bullies in the book. The book just covers the school year and ends with the 5th grade graduation. There are several different point of views in the book, which give insight into his family and friends. It all makes you wonder what you would do if you met August. Interestingly enough, that is similar to how the author thought of the story – she and her children saw someone with a deformity and her 3-year-old made a comment that flustered her. The incident made her think of how she should have reacted.

Auggie and Me

My children and I also read the Auggie and Me stories shortly after reading Wonder. They are a great addition to the book, especially The Julian chapter, which tells the story from Julian’s point of view. The other two stories are from his best friend who lives farther away, Christopher, and one of Auggie’s classmates, Charlotte. Each story is well-written and adds depth to the Wonder experience.

I would recommend Wonder to anyone age 10 or older. It deals with some bullying, so it’s not quite for younger elementary children. It would be a good book to read with your children as parents so you can discuss what happens to August. It will provoke a lot of discussion!

Do you plan on seeing the movie? Have you read Wonder? What did you think? Comment below!

Buy Wonder here (affiliate link).

Buy Auggie and Me here (affiliate link).


About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.