By R.J. Palacio
Grades 4th and up!
The instant I starting reading the book Wonder, I knew it would be a great read-a-loud! It is not just another ‘new kid’ at school book—it is a book about caring, compassion, humor and digging deep into oneself to see what you are really made of!
August, aka Auggie, was born with severe facial deformities—one that requires numerous surgeries. I knew down deep that I wanted these surgeries to make Auggie look like a normal kid, but that just wasn’t in the cards. Auggie was homeschooled until 5th grade—partly because of the time he would miss from all the surgeries but mostly to protect him from the outside world.
But at 5th grade Auggie’s mom and dad agreed that he was ready—they knew down deep Auggie would need to rely on his inner strength to show everyone he was just an ordinary kid—perhaps an extraordinary kid. His face caused classmates to stare, to say mean things, to ignore him—it even caused little kids to run away and scream.
But the amazing part of this story is that you think you are reading Auggie’s story, but the point-of-view shifts to his sister, who never gets their parent’s attention, then to an estranged family friend, and then to classmates of Auggie. This is the part of the book when you get to see deep into the characters–to see what they are really made of. It is the part of mankind that I despise and that part that makes you want to cheer!!
This should be a required read-a-loud along with Sharon Draper’s, Out of My Mind, so that no child ever feels isolated, alone, or friendless. Three cheers for R. J. Palacio’s, Wonder.
This book will appeal to reluctant readers—it is fast paced and it has short chapters.
Author’s website with book trailer: R. J. Palacio