Book Review: Wonder, by R.J. Palacio


Wonder is a compelling story of a boy overcoming what some may call a disability, but others call empowerment. August Pullman was born with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome, causing him to have severe facial deformities. He has inspired me, as well as many others, proving we can overcome any obstacles life throws our way. 

This book does not disregard the realistic, cruel aspects of our world. It shows how this adolescent boy overcomes many obstacles that even most adults don’t go through in their lives. Events from being bullied, taunted, and much more due to his looks eventually lead to a wonder of surprises. 

Auggie has had 27 surgeries since his birth, so even before he really started  ”living” he’d gone through more than most. This is the main reason why he didn’t attend school until 5th grade, when his mother thought it was time for him to learn more than she could teach. Auggie was hesitant about going to school at first, but was eventually convinced after meeting their principal, Mr. Tushman, and a few students at the school.

Auggie experiences the usual hardships of starting middle school, but endures quite a bit more than others due to his appearance. People won’t sit by him and eventually start saying they will catch the plague if they touch him. Thankfully, he makes friends with Jack, a boy who helped give his welcome tour, and Summer, a girl he talks to at lunch, who sees him for who he truly is. Wonder tells a story of August overcoming obstacles he faces during middle school, and how he pushes through a difficult year. 

This book does an excellent job of tugging at your heartstrings as well as hooking you in. It encourages young readers to be kind to one another, and embrace each others’ differences. I’ve read this book numerous times, starting at only 7 years old, and it continues to be my all time favorite. Wonder taught me many valuable lessons at such a young age. Once you start, you won’t want to stop reading the sometimes disorganized, fun-filled adventures of Wonder

“I wish everyday could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.” ― R. J. Palacio