While I was at the library a few weeks back the bright blue cover of the book Wonder caught my eye. I had heard friends say that this was a must-read, but hadn’t had the chance to read it yet, so I grabbed it. Wonder is a young adult book, by R.J. Palacio. As soon as I opened the book I was sucked in. When I got about halfway through I came to the conclusion that this book should be a required read for all middle school aged children. And so I “made” Ella start reading the book too. Ahem, I use the word “made” lightly. I just suggested it and she readily agreed. So we both read it at the same time. Which was awesome because we could discuss the book and any questions that came up.
I don’t want to tell you too much about this book or give anything away, so I’m going to keep my review brief. The book is about a boy named August who has some major facial deformities and has been home-schooled his whole life but is preparing to enter middle school for the first time. Aside from his physical appearance he is just an ordinary boy. Scratch that, he’s not normal…he’s Extraordinary. He’s wise beyond his years, and has an old soul in my opinion. The book is written beautifully and from the perspective of several different characters so you really do get a chance to get into everyone’s mind and see what they are really thinking. I say that this should be required reading because it is a hard thing to teach a child empathy & kindness, but I think this book would teach young children to consider other people more compassionately. This book is about enduring friendships, dealing with bullies, family dynamics, and figuring out the rocky terrain of middle school and high school. It is both painful & beautiful all at once.
Ella really enjoyed this book too, and I loved hearing her emotional and caring thoughts as she read the book. I have to note…we were both disappointed that they depicted 5th graders as of the age for dating (boo! hiss! too young!). I was glad to hear her agree with me on that one!
You can find this book at your local library, or in our Amazon Shop. Happy Reading!
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