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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 Th Grade At Beecher Prep, He Wants Nothing Than To Be Treated As An Ordinary Kid But His New Classmates Can T Get Past Auggie S Extraordinary Face WONDER, Now A 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 AcceptanceAlternate Cover Edition ISBN ISBN Wow I am so glad that I finally got around to listening to this story Wonder had been sitting on my TBR list for a really long time, but I had been waiting for a time to listen to it with my daughters That time finally arrived last weekend, when we had to spend a full day in the car on a trip.I had read many great reviews for this book, so I had really high hopes going into it In fact, I was worried that I would be disappointed, as I often am with a book that is surrounded by so much hype However, I can say that this book did not let me down in any way In fact, it exceeded every expectation that I had I absolutely loved this story Wonder tells the story of a young boy, August Pullman aka Auggie , who is going to begin attending school for the first time ever Auggie has been homeschooled for years by his mother because he was born with severe facial deformities, requiring multiple operations over the course of his young life Despite the myriad of surgeries that he has undergone, he still lives with significant facial disfigurement Now, Auggie will be entering the fifth grade at Beecher Prep.Told from multiple POVs, this book provides a thorough account of Auggie s experiences I was especially impressed with the raw honesty of his sister s POV Growing up with Auggie wasn t easy, as she always came second to his needs She struggled with resentment and guilt over having those feelings, as she truly loved her brother but craved the attention of her parents also.Auggie s POV was also brutally honest He was well aware of how other people viewed him Yet, no amount of awareness can make a child immune to the stares and cruel words His story was heartbreaking, but inspiring.It was also easy to relate to the POVs of others, including Jack, the boy who befriends Auggie at school Although some of his actions were upsetting, he was only human I had to remind myself that he was just a young boy, battling his own insecurities and trying to fit in at a very impressionable age Even good people do bad things sometimes.As a parent, I both admired and sympathized with Auggie s mother My heart went out to her I could only imagine how difficult it would be to enroll your child into school, wanting to provide as normal a life as possible, while also wanting to shelter and protect him I don t know what I would ve done in her shoes.Not surprisingly, this was an incredibly emotional story At times, it was downright depressing However, I couldn t help but fall in love with Auggie and his resilience This story broke my heart, but it also inspired me Most importantly, this story will make you reflect on your views and behaviors This story highlights the cruelty of people s actions, bred from ignorance and fear Never have I read a story that so effectively prompts readers to examine the impact of their actions and words For children, this was a wonderful lesson in empathy This book prompted some thoughtful discussion with my daughters 5 and 10 about bullying and the golden rule Although some of the story went over the head of my 5 year old, who was primarily hung up on the hilarity of the farting nurse , my 10 year old didn t miss a beat I have no doubt that this story will stick with her and make her considerate and empathetic toward other children Wonder is the type of book that should be required reading in schools and I m glad to hear that it is in some schools already Just like The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank s Diary , this book is a book that guides you to be a better, thoughtful, person It is beautiful and engaging No doubt about it, this book left it s mark on me I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old Check out of my reviews at Wonder is one of those rare books that makes you want to hug everyone in it so tightly that they ll have no doubt about how much you love them and beyond that, it also makes you want to reach out and hug the whole world It s an upbeat, humorous, life affirming story that deserves to be read and it s one that may just change its readers, too.If you remember how terrifying it was to be a kid on a day to day basis, you ll appreciate August s story 10 year old Auggie is going to school for the first time in his life, and he has to navigate new rules, learn to interact with teachers, and figure out how to make new friends In addition, he also has a severe facial deformity that stops strangers in their tracks, so all the usual perils of the fifth grade take on even heightened stakes With the matter of fact wisdom that warmed Beverly Cleary s books, this story about growing up is full of heart and humor, and written with a clear eyed intelligence that never descends into cynicism Auggie s smart, funny personality will win over readers who will agonize with him over the complicated web of friendships and family even as they cheer for him as he learns some of life s big and scary lessons It s okay, I know I m weird looking, take a look, I don t bite Hey, the truth is, if a wookie started going to school all of a sudden, I d be curious, I d probably stare a bit And if I was walking with Jack or Summer, I d probably whisper to them Hey, there s the wookie And if the wookie caught me saying that, he d know I wasn t trying to be mean I was just pointing out the fact that he s a wookie. Even with a positive attitude and smart, loving parents, however, Auggie s story is not an easy one to read, and my emotions ran wildly from sadness to hilarity to terrible anger at what happens to him Not all kids are nice Some kids behave one way in front of adults and another way in front of kids Some adults are downright cruel And just when you think life can t possibly get any harder or challenging, sometimes it does.Although the book is primarily told from Auggie s perspective, it was a surprise to me when it switched to a few other points of view With a total of six different voices, I would normally say this is far too many, but in this particular case every person offered an insight into August s beautiful personality and amazing life in a way that would be impossible to otherwise know Reading about Auggie s 27 surgeries, rejoicing at his vibrant inner life, hurting for him when he felt lonely or misunderstood, and seeing his life from various different perspectives, it s impossible not to be moved by his story And how can you not love a boy who understands that sometimes his mom might need his precious teddy bear than he does Not entirely random side note view spoiler In my former life, I worked in movie publicity In that position, you re subjected to a lot of wheedling and sob stories, so it s natural to develop a pretty jaded viewpoint So when a film critic forwarded a plea to me from the mom of a young boy who wanted to attend an advance screening of the latest Harry Potter movie, my first reaction was automatic suspicion why couldn t this kid wait the two months until the movie was out I did a lot of research before I finally spoke to the mom, but I m so glad I did Because it turned out the boy was in the advanced stages of an incurable illness and was not expected to live much longer.It made me so terribly ashamed that I had doubted the story Understandable, yes, but I knew that the letter could easily have been overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the business and it scared me to think that something that so important might have been lost because of other things that mattered so much less In this case, I made sure this boy and his family got the VIP treatment, including a ton of swag and a very memorable evening He was absolutely incandescent that night, and his parents told me afterwards that it was one of the happiest experiences in his young life When his mom told me a few months later that he d passed away, it was terribly sad But I was so grateful to have had that brief contact, and to have helped bring a tiny bit of joy into his last months It was, just as Wonder is, a reminder that it s so much easier to look the other way, because of impatience or fear But sometimes reaching out to another human being can be a life changing experience, for everyone concerned As many have said before me, taking action doesn t just change the other person, it also changes you. hide spoiler Ye gods, what a wonderful book I don t read a lot of realistic middle grade fiction I tend to gravitate toward fantasy But this is probably the best such book I ve read since Sherman Alexie s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.The main character August Auggie Pullman is a ten year old boy with severe facial abnormalities Little kids scream when they see him Older kids make fun of him and call him a freak Auggie is home schooled through grade four, but for middle school his parents decide to send him to a private school, Beecher Prep, in New York City Wonder is the story of his fifth grade year, told partly from Auggie s perspective, and partly from the other kids in his life his sister Via, her oldest friend Miranda, Via s boyfriend Justin, and Jack and Summer, Auggie s new friends at Beecher Prep Each narrator has a distinct, completely believable voice Palacio writes with just the right balance of humor and pathos, making each character both flawed and sympathetic She gets kids how they think, how they talk, how they have the capacity to be both horribly mean and incredibly brave and kind I recognize these characters from my years of teaching middle school, and I m sure young readers will recognize them too The book rings with authenticity The short chapters and shifting narrative make this a quick, easy read It s a feel good book with a great message, and the ending is a tearjerker in the best possible way I d recommend it without hesitation to most middle grade readers, girls or boys, even those who may not normally pick up realistic fiction. Watch my review discussion here a WONDERful first book of the year I read this book almost too quickly, I wanted it to last longer This might be technically a children s book, but it really was such a special and meaningful read and I highly recommend that everyone read this once in their lives