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Wonder [Hardcover]

R. J. Palacio
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 14 2012
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder

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Review

#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

Slate.com, 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

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by an 'Auggie' April 2 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply ... wonderful! May 25 2013
By The Baking Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
This review, and many more, can be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca).

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.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional view on an exceptional life. Dec 12 2013
By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-Taking April 18 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is an incredible book about August Pullman going to school with a deformed face. This how he becomes one of the greatest!
Fully recommend
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
I read "Wonder" with my 11 year old boy and 9 year old girl and we all loved it. It's a heart-warming story with engaging characters. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Melissa Barron
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this book should be for ages 8,9 or up
I am doing a book report on this book ?
Can you make another book for the series and also a movie .
I LOVE WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published 25 days ago by Andrea Siegel
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
This book should be part of every school curriculum. Young people should be reading this book, the writing is fantastic, the story is told in a way that you don't feel sorry for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Ayotte
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW Wonder really is wondetful
I love reading. I love books. But I am fussy and I know a REALLY good book when I find it. Wonder is one of those books. This is an amazing book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Arthur R. Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...
In this memorable tale of courage and kindness, Auggie Pullman frets about beginning fifth grade: how will he fit in to middle school when his features look "like they've been... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Reader Writer Runner
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ
This book was the most inspirational and moving book. It was funny at times and sad. You feel for the characters. I recommend this to adults and elementary students. Read more
Published 2 months ago by kristy
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful
I simply adored this book.

It's such a sweet story - a young boy with a physical disfigurement goes to school for the first time; and we get to experience that first... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lynne Frappier
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Story!
My son got this for Christmas and he and his brother have both read it and really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down and admit I shed a tear here and there while reading it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational
Brilliant inspirational a beautiful story. Lovely and poetic. Emotional and kind. Friendship and trust. Happiness and joy. Love and family.
Published 3 months ago by ?
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME
We loved this book so much that we hated to see it end. My 10 year old daughter and I read it faithfully almost every evening. Read more
Published 4 months ago by cyndee
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