4.07.2013

Wonder by RJ Palacio

August Pullman is the poster child for the saying "beauty is only skin deep." Born with a serious facial deformity, that even after multiple surgeries leaves him with a face he prefers to hide behind a mask, Auggie is attending school for the first time. Middle school. Talk about a double whammie.

WONDER (Knopf, Feb 2012) is an ugly duckling/coming of age story that might seem cliche on the surface but RJ Palacio delivers Auggie's story in a way that gives you a 360 degree perspective of what it means to stand out.

Told by multiple characters playing roles large and small in Auggie's life, WONDER unveils how ordinary a boy Auggie is behind his face. He loves Star Wars and Legos. He is a good student, but likes to have fun and joke around. As his classmates discover Auggie's reality, and learn to put their initial judgements aside, Auggie learns a few things as well -- about his own inner beauty.

On many "best book" lists for 2012, this is a must-read that will pull you in from the first chapter, furiously plucking heartstrings yet still inspiring smiles. Teetering on preachy in moments, Palacio avoids those pitfalls while still delivering a powerful message of kindness, acceptance and friendship.

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