Staff Reads Pick: Wonder

A photo of Becky the librarian for Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library

Staff Reads Pick: Wonder

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” This is August Pullman, Auggie for short, greeting readers in the first chapter of the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Auggie is a 10 year old boy who loves doing ordinary 10 year old boy stuff like playing sports, Xbox and reading. Only Auggie doesn’t think of himself as ordinary. He’s had 27 surgeries on his face due to genetic abnormalities and spent a lot of time in the hospital as a child. He hides his scarred and disfigured face as much as possible from the world.
Hoping he will learn to spread his wings, Auggie’s caring and protective parents decide he should start school for the first time (middle school, no less!), and Auggie hesitantly, yet bravely, decides to go. Starting a new school is a big transition for any child, but Auggie is faced with additional wide-eyed stares, rude comments, and the inevitable bullying.
Readers journey with Auggie as he makes his way through 5th grade. Told from multiple perspectives, the author introduces us to Auggie, his family, friends and others in his circle of influence. The various narrators reveal what it’s like to be in Auggie’s orbit and how impactful his life is on each of them, even if it’s not a positive experience. Auggie’s story is one of bravery, resilience, and above all, kindness prevailing.
Palacio’s writing is raw and real, not sugar coated, taking readers on quite the complex emotional journey – humor, sadness, anger, love… you name it. Children and parents alike will be moved and uplifted by Auggie’s story. This librarian highly recommends it. If you haven’t yet read this book, do yourself or your kiddos a favor and check it out today… before you see the movie. 😉
Students in grades 3 – 5, with an adult, who would like to discuss this book over pizza may join our Readbox: Wonder event at 4 PM Friday, Dec. 8. We’ll also plan to watch the movie at a theater after the event – time to be announced. Registration requested at http://bit.ly/2AgA5ho