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Wonder Hardcover – Feb 14 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (Feb. 14 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375869026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375869020
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.9 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


#1 New York Times bestseller

A School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

A Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2012

A Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012

A Booklist Best of Children's Books 2012

Wonder is essentially ... a wonder. It's well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it." - Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times bestselling author, October 10, 2012:
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year."

Entertainment Weekly, February 17, 2012, The Top 10 Things We Love This Week:
"In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turner filled with characters you can't help but root for."

The New York Times, April 8, 2012:
"Rich and memorable...It's Auggie and the rest of the children who are the real heart of 'Wonder,' and Palacio captures the voices of girls and boys, fifth graders and teenagers, with equal skill."

The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2012:
"What makes R.J. Palacio's debut novel so remarkable, and so lovely, is the uncommon generosity with which she tells Auggie's story…The result is a beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.”

The Huffington Post,
March 1, 2012:
"It's in the bigger themes that Palacio's writing shines. This book is a glorious exploration of the nature of friendship, tenacity, fear, and most importantly, kindness."
January 2013: "I think every mother and father would be better for having read it. Auggie's parents -- who are never named in the book, and don't even get to narrate a chapter of their own -- are powerful examples not only of how to shelter and strengthen a child with heartbreaking facial anomalies, but also of how to be a loving advocate to any kid."

The London Times, The Top 100 People to Watch in 2012:
"The breakout publishing sensation of 2012 will come courtesy of Palacio [and] is destined to go the way of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and then some."

"Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us.  I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman."
- Rebecca Stead, Newbery award-winning author of When You Reach Me

"It is the deceptive simplicity and honesty of the work that make Wonder so memorable. Every single character seems real and well drawn and oh-so human...This book is beautiful." - Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy

"A beautiful story of kindness and courage. There are many real and well-developed characters, and they each have their shining moments. Of course, Auggie shines the brightest." - Clare Vanderpool, Newbery award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest

"Wonder is a beautifully told story about heartache, love, and the value of human life. One comes away from it wanting to be a better person." - Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery honor-winning author of Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods

"Wonder is a shining jewel of a story that cannot help but encourage readers of all ages to do better, to be better, in how they treat others in life. I'm totally in love with this novel."  - Trudy Ludwig, anti-bullying advocate and author of My Secret Bully, Confessions of a Former Bully, Better Than You, and Just Kidding

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 20, 2012:
“Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes--and hearts--to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd.”

Starred Review, Booklist, February 1, 2012:
“Palacio makes it feel not only effortless but downright graceful, and by the stand-up-and-cheer conclusion, readers will be doing just that, and feeling as if they are part of this troubled but ultimately warm-hearted community.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 1, 2012:
"Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters...A well-written, thought-provoking book."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2011:
“A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.”

About the Author

R. J. PALACIO lives in NYC 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 had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an 'Auggie' myself, I was interested to see how Palacio would tell the story of a child growing up with a disfiguration, likely having no firsthand knowledge herself (based on the portrait on the back cover). Overall, I think she did a very good job. Auggie's life is greatly impacted by his appearance, and it affects the decisions he makes, who he meets, and the places he goes. Auggie just wants to fit in, have friends, and be known for something other then being the 'funny looking kid'. I think Palaco does a good job of explaining how that can be difficult in childhood, and how children are capable of great cruelty as a result of the need for popularity, as well as every person's ability to show compassion and acceptance for those who are different. Although some state that the telling of the story though the perspectives of secondary characters was unnecessary, I would have to disagree. I thought it was interesting to see how knowing Auggie impacted the lives of other people. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This review, and many more, can be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

My Thoughts: Often times when a book is so critically acclaimed I'm a little hesitant to pick it up because more often than not the book just doesn't live up to the hype created around it. Yes, I've become a little cynical in my reading.

This is not the case with Wonder. Not by a long shot.

In fact two words that I initially wrote down after reading the first few chapters of this book were: 'touching and emotional'. It's because of the emotion and message behind this book that I'm so excited to share it with you.

First of all, I'm shocked and more than a little impressed that this book was written by a first time author. I think that a huge part of the success of this book is that Palacio has given Auggie (and the five other people who provide the narration) truly authentic and believable voices.

Auggie is an inspiring, funny and strong main character who will definitely stay with me for a long time. Palacio has created a sympathetic main character in Auggie who is a normal Star Wars loving boy with an extraordinary face who you can't help but root for. He's got a great support system at home which has instilled a strong sense of self and he uses his humour to deal with other people's issues with his face. He is exceptional in that he feels normal even though other people have more of an issue with his face.

"I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary, I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside.
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Format: Hardcover
I must forego my usual preamble because I didn't get this book for free. Instead my fiancee recommended it to me on the force of her own positive experiences. In deference to the scads of existing reviews, I'll also do away with my usual positive/negative analysis.

Opinions on this book seem to be almost universally positive and I can't really say much to contradict them. Everyone is a little different but most people don't carry their differences in quite such an obvious place as our main character. This makes his view on life and other people quite unique and intriguing. It struck me very similarly to 'Golden Boy' by Abigail Tarttelin though this treatment of the subject is safer for children and more focused on the outside viewpoints of those around the protagonist.

The only negative opinions I've encountered seem rather baseless and boil down to the trite statement that it is somehow "boring". While I don't share any iota of that opinion, it is worth noting, however, that the book is targeted at pre-teens so it's not overwhelmingly complex in either theme or structure. Wonder also takes a very circumspect view of the narrative, showing the situation from the viewpoint of everyone involved in their turn. For more sophisticated readers this is a revealing boon but for the very inexperienced the context switching will take some getting used to.

In summary, this one is a book thoroughly recommended for everyone no matter the age. The content is 100% safe for all ages and educational as well. This book won't stop the awkward stares at people with physical differences, but it may at least let the starers know that the people being stared at do notice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was exactly what my classroom needed. It is a beautiful book looking at the importance of kindness and how we can live this virtue daily in our lives. It is also so helpful in teaching point of view. Food for thought in any junior classroom. The students can feel empathy for the main character. It reminds us we all need to be kind to one another. The discussion that resulted from the book too were insightful and brought forth deep thinking. This book is a MUST read for any grade 4-6 class.
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Format: Hardcover
Wonder introduces us to August ("Auggie"), a 10 year-old boy who is born with a horribly disfigured face. Homeschooled his whole life, his parents finally make the decision to send Auggie to 5th grade in the local public school. What follows is an incredible story of family, friendship, and the triumph of humanity and kindness.

Every now and then, a book moves me. Wonder is that kind of book - the kind where you run into other parents in the school yard, you chat with your children's teachers, you call up your friends and family with kids and say: YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. Everyone should read this book. No, wait... every middle grade school should read this book. It should be part of middle grade curriculum. No, everyone should read this book. There's a lesson here for everyone.

Auggie is one of the most endearing main characters I have run across in a very long time. As he is introduced, we do not know exactly what is wrong with Auggie or why. This is what the author does so well, in revealing his disfigurement, providing only small glimpses so that we get to know the real Auggie before we can only see him as horribly disfigured. Of course, we have that luxury as readers, but those who would encounter Auggie in person would see his disfigurement right away; thus, as readers, we have a very different experience in getting to know Auggie.

Based on what we know about bullying in schools, we would anticipate that a child like Auggie would be a magnet to being abused, mocked, or excluded. This DOES happen, but what is so beautiful is that there are many other children who look past Auggie's "face" and see what a "wonder"-ful person he is on the inside - something we see as readers all along.
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