#BookReview: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Paperback: 320 Pages
August Pullman is a 10 year old boy. He loves his dog, likes ice-cream and riding his bike. He has an Xbox and loves everything to do with Star Wars. August is not a regular 10 year old boy by any stretch of imagination though. August is born with distorted facial features – medically known as a ‘Craniofacial Difference’ caused by an anomaly in his DNA. With 27th corrective surgeries behind him, to quote August, ‘I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’
August has lived in the same neighbourhood as long as he can remember and has been home schooled by his Mom. When he turns 10, his parents think it is time he joins a regular school. After some initial reluctance he agrees to, with the family agreeing to the condition that he could drop out the moment he realises that regular school is not his cup of tea.
Beecher Prep School is where August starts his new journey. With stares, fellow students recoiling in disgust, and August being avoided and left to himself in class and at lunch time. Brave little August has a lifetime of experience facing this and he takes it all in his stride, aided by a compassionate Principal and a student, Summer, who treats him like he is just another guy. It isn’t all smooth sailing for him though with students ganging up against him, cruel jibes and isolation being his constant companions. Until the tables turn.
The book is narrated from different perspectives, from that of August’s, his sister Via, his friends and other people in his life.
This is Author R.J.Palacio’s debut book. The one word I would use to describe her writing is ‘gentle’. Her carefully chosen words form sentences that wrap themselves around you and hold you within their embrace.
What I particularly appreciate is that at no point I, as a reader, feel any pity towards August. Not once did I go, ‘poor thing’. Instead, all I felt was love, compassion and respect for him and towards him.
The story and writing moved me, making me pause to put the book down many times over to contemplate and have a good cry, more so because somewhere we all probably would identify with various characters and situations in the book.
‘Wonder’ is a book that will hold a mirror to the reader, making them go back in time and analysing their behaviour towards anyone they saw who was unlike them. It will make you thankful for all that you have and make you realise how much you take for granted.
Wonder is a book that will enrich your life, do read it.
***** 5 Stars for Wonder
My rating chart;
*Use it as a doorstop.
**Read it if you have nothing better to do.
***You will like it if you like this particular genre of writing.
*****What! You haven’t read it YET ?!