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Wonder
Cover of Wonder
Wonder
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JULIA ROBERTS, OWEN WILSON, AND JACOB TREMBLAY!Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie...
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JULIA ROBERTS, OWEN WILSON, AND JACOB TREMBLAY!Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie...
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  • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JULIA ROBERTS, OWEN WILSON, AND JACOB TREMBLAY!
    Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.
    The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement.
    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 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, now a #1 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 acceptance.
    "Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. 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, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.
    Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    OrdinaryI know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

    If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all. I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-away thing. Here's what I think: the only reason I'm not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.

    But I'm kind of used to how I look by now. I know how to pretend I don't see the faces people make. We've all gotten pretty good at that sort of thing: me, Mom and Dad, Via. Actually, I take that back: Via's not so good at it. She can get really annoyed when people do something rude. Like, for instance, one time in the playground some older kids made some noises. I don't even know what the noises were exactly because I didn't hear them myself, but Via heard and she just started yelling at the kids. That's the way she is. I'm not that way.

    Via doesn't see me as ordinary. She says she does, but if I were ordinary, she wouldn't feel like she needs to protect me as much. And Mom and Dad don't see me as ordinary, either. They see me as extraordinary. I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.

    My name is August, by the way. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

    Why I Didn't Go to School

    Next week I start fifth grade. Since I've never been to a real school before, I am pretty much totally and completely petrified. People think I haven't gone to school because of the way I look, but it's not that. It's because of all the surgeries I've had. Twenty-seven since I was born. The bigger ones happened before I was even four years old, so I don't remember those. But I've had two or three surgeries every year since then (some big, some small), and because I'm little for my age, and I have some other medical mysteries that doctors never really figured out, I used to get sick a lot. That's why my parents decided it was better if I didn't go to school. I'm much stronger now, though. The last surgery I had was eight months ago, and I probably won't have to have any more for another couple of years.

    Mom homeschools me. She used to be a children's-book illustrator. She draws really great fairies and mermaids. Her boy stuff isn't so hot, though. She once tried to draw me a Darth Vader, but it ended up looking like some weird mushroom-shaped robot. I haven't seen her draw anything in a long time. I think she's too busy taking care of me and Via.

    I can't say I always wanted to go to school because that wouldn't be exactly true. What I wanted was to go to school, but only if I could be like every other kid going to school. Have lots of friends and hang out after school and stuff like that.

    I have a few really good friends now. Christopher is my best friend, followed by Zachary and Alex. We've known each other since we were babies. And since they've always known me the way I am, they're used to me. When we were little, we used to have playdates all the time, but then Christopher moved to Bridgeport in Connecticut. That's more than an hour away from where I live in North River Heights, which is at the top tip of Manhattan. And Zachary and Alex started going to school. It's funny: even though Christopher's the one who moved far away, I still see him more than I see Zachary and Alex....

About the Author-

  • R. J. PALACIO lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books felicisowl - Wonder was a book I first read 2 years ago, and over the years, I just couldn't stop re-reading it. The kids at my school call this book "childish", "horrible," and "weird just like the kid in the book." I think just the opposite. August is a normal kid on the inside, but not on the outside. His face has a 'deformity', which is pretty much one of the best words I could think of to describe it. Wherever he goes, people get frightened of him, scream, and run away. August always wanted a normal life and a normal face. August has always been homeschooled, but now he has to face a new challenge - actually going to school, surrounded by his peers. He was shown around by three of the 'nicest kids in school,' Jack, Julian, and Charlotte. August later finds out that Julian is not very nice at all. Once he starts going to school, August becomes best friends with Jack and people quickly start getting used to his face after weeks and months go by. He also becomes friends with Summer, and they make their lunch table, a "Summer-Only Table." At Halloween, August goes to school in a Bleeding Scream costume, when everyone thought he was going in a Boba Fett costume. August overhears Jack talking to Julian about their friendship. Jack said some very uncaring remarks about August, which he didn't really mean. But August got hurt and decided to not to be friends with Jack anymore. He was so hurt that he wanted to quit school, but his sister Via, convinces him not to. His sister Via was the one who had stuck up for him through thick and thin. Jack is very confused to why August doesn't talk to him anymore (since he didn't know it was August in the Bleeding Scream costume.) He asks Summer (who August had confided in) and Summer says, "Bleeding Scream," but Jack doesn't understand. Later, when Jack and August are paired for a science project. Jack pieces together the whole thing and realized that August was the person in the Bleeding Scream costume. Then, when Jack is talking with Julian and Julian calls August a freak, Jack punches Julian, defending his friend. Julian's mom takes it out on August instead, saying that August shouldn't even be in Beecher Prep. Meanwhile, August learns that Jack stood up for him and they become friends again. There are many characters, and each character takes a turn telling the story, so there are many chapters about the characters, side-stories, kind of. In these chapters, August and Via's dog, Daisy, dies. It is very sad and whenever I read it, I keep crying because of their sadness. Via also stars in a play and makes up with her friend Miranda, who she had separated from earlier in the book. Near the end of the book, the whole fifth grade (the grade that August is in) takes a trip to a nature reserve park. While August and Jack are in the woods, some seventh graders insult August, calling him "Gollum" and "Freddy Krueger", which was similar to the insults my friends said about August. Miles, Amos, and Henry, who were formerly friends with Julian, stood up for him. This reminds me when my friends and I all stood up against a bully, who was a common enemy. In the end of the book, we learn that Julian will not be returning to Beecher Prep in the fall. Also, as the school year finishes, there is an award ceremony. In the award ceremony, the principal gives a speech on how someone in this room accomplished great things, and overcame a lot of things. The last award in the book was given to August because he overcame everything, even with so many obstacles thrown in his way. I also want to give a special...
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 20, 2012
    Auggie Pullman was born with severe facial deformities—no outer ears, eyes in the wrong place, his skin "melted"—and he's learned to steel himself against the horrified reactions he produces in strangers. Now, after years of homeschooling, his parents have enrolled him in fifth grade. In short chapters told from various first-person perspectives, debut author Palacio sketches his challenging but triumphant year. Though he has some expectedly horrible experiences at school, Auggie has lucked out with the adults in his life—his parents love him unconditionally, and his principal and teachers value kindness over all other qualities. While one bully manages, temporarily, to turn most of Auggie's classmates against him (Auggie likens this to becoming the human equivalent of "the Cheese Touch," a clever Diary of a Wimpy Kid reference), good wins out. Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes—and hearts—to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 15, 2011
    After being homeschooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he's worried: How will he fit into middle-school life when he looks so different from everyone else? Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though "his features look like they've been melted, like the drippings on a candle" and he's used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he's an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He's smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending "a lamb to the slaughter." Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie's first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie's viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie's arrival at school doesn't test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too. A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from February 1, 2012

    Gr 4-7-Due to a rare genetic disorder, Auggie Pullman's head is malformed, his facial features are misshapen, and he has scars from corrective surgery. After much discussion and waffling, he and his parents decide it's time for him to go to a regular school for the fifth grade instead of being homeschooled. All his life Auggie has seen the shocked expressions and heard the whispers his appearance generates, and he has his coping strategies. He knows that except for how he looks, he's a normal kid. What he experiences is typical middle school-the good and the bad. Meanwhile, his beautiful sister is starting high school and having her own problems. She's finding that friendships change and, though it makes her feel guilty, she likes not being labeled as Auggie's sister. Multiple people tell this story, including Auggie, two of his new school friends, his sister, and his sister's former best friend. Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the middle school students. This is a fast read and would be a great discussion starter about love, support, and judging people on their appearance. A well-written, thought-provoking book.-Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Wonder is essentially ... a wonder. It's well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it."
  • Rebecca Stead, Newbery award-winning author of When You Reach Me "Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us. I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman."
  • Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy "It is the deceptive simplicity and honesty of the work that make Wonder so memorable. Every single character seems real and well drawn and oh-so human...This book is beautiful."
  • Clare Vanderpool, Newbery award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest "A beautiful story of kindness and courage. There are many real and well-developed characters, and they each have their shining moments. Of course, Auggie shines the brightest."
  • Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery honor-winning author of Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods "Wonder is a beautifully told story about heartache, love, and the value of human life. One comes away from it wanting to be a better person."

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    Random House Children's Books
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