By R.J. Palacio

Published 2012

AR level: 4.8

AR points: 11.0

I suggest 3rd through 10th grade.9781524720193_p0_v5_s600x595

There is no doubt something special about this book. In a world where I get the sense that many people are letting hate and ill will grow, we could use many, many more books like Palacio’s Wonder. I wish there was one like this coming out every month.

In Wonder, we learn to look through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have it easy. Even worse, he’s going to school for the first time–in fifth grade! The novel’s premise reminds me of those on America’s Got Talent, the stories of physical challenges that often bring me to tears. So many of us complain when we have healthy bodies. If only we could spend a day in someone else’s shoes. In Wonder, both you and your kids can do that (and still take time to laugh!).

Description from B&N:

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, a #1 New York Times bestseller, 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.

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, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

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