Wonder. It’s not often that you find a book that can touch you in a very deep and meaningful way the way this book has touched me. Many other readers have reviewed and recommended, touted and praised all that Wonder has to offer, yet I didn’t feel the connection. Until I read the book. Wow. Wonder is just special. Adults, adolescents, teens, teachers, parents, friends, family, everyone should read this book. It speaks about the way we each gently walk in and out of special lives, but don’t really know the impact. I think it’s the same for this book. For each of us who reads the book, it leaves an impact. For each, the impact is a little different, for each the book has touched us in a different way. I doubt you will be able to read this book without connecting to the story and the characters and having the book impact you. Now, let me tell you a little about the book.
Auggie is navigating the world as a home-schooled student entering the public school system for the first time. He comes from a loving family, who supports him, but they can only do so much so ease his struggles. Auggie was born with a severe facial anomaly that few can look past at first glance. Children, adults, friends, strangers, react to Auggie’s face on different levels. While some show disgust, others show pity, and some simply can’t even bare to look. As you can imagine, Auggie is slow to make friends. The really interesting part of the story is that Auggie has an amazing personality, thoughtful nature, and an amount of perseverance and courage that we all should admire.
Through his experiences at school, home, and around the neighborhood, Auggie learns lessons about his family, friends, classmates, teachers, and teaches those around him lessons too. Sometimes people disappoint Auggie by judging him and using him as a pawn in cruel childish games. Other people surprise him with true friendship and understanding. Auggie isn’t innocent either. He can sometimes be unforgiving and let his emotions get the best of him. Throughout the story though, Auggie grows and matures, growing into a young adolescent with a great deal of perspective on life, differences, friendship, and his own facial disability.
The story is not only told from Auggie’s point of view but those of his classmates, sister, even his sister’s boyfriend. We also have glimpse’s of the entire story from Auggie’s caring parents. Throughout the story, Auggie is central, but not in a ‘I am the center of the universe’ type way. I felt the story moved along well with the alternating points of view and short chapters. The story was, for me an easy read in the sense that it was read in one evening. Let me be clear though, the story both breaks your heart and mends and warms it. I recommend this book to 4-8 graders, teachers, parents, and anyone everyone in between.