Ten-year-old Auggie is just a normal kid--on the inside. As for the outside, well, that is a different story. August was born with an extreme facial abnormality and was not even expected to survive. Homeschooled his whole life by his nurturing and loving family, August's life changes as he bravely enters fifth grade at a private school in Manhattan. Will his new classmates see beyond Auggie's unique exterior and discover the terrific kid inside, or will they shun him, like so many kids have before?
Wonder is a true gem of a book that will appeal to teachers and parents as much as it will to its intended middle grade audience. Wholesome and very well-written, it is also an engaging and easy read for kids. This book is told from the perspective of eight different narrators, including August himself. The narrators have a certain tie to August, each with their own unique perspective. This gives the reader a chance to see how being different, and being mainstreamed into society, affects an entire family, and community. Some rise to the challenge while some do not. The author paints a very realistic picture of middle school and how cruel--but also how compassionate--kids of that age can be. The parents, educators, and adults in this book are very kind and supportive (with the exception of the bully's parents). In fact, the author makes a point to demonstrate that when it comes to human behavior, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The compassionate kids have like-minded parents, while the bully's parents lead a witch hunt to kick August out of school. Wonder is a thought-provoking story about judging a book by its cover, courage, empathy, and doing the right thing, even under peer pressure. It is a great choice for parents and book clubs to read together and will prompt important discussions. Teachers--this is an excellent choice for a read aloud for both older elementary school kids and middle school. There is no language. A pet passes away, but it is not described in detail, and a juvenile fist fight occurs. August and his friend urinate in a forest and that is the raciest content of the story. The format, narrated by relatable kids of different genders and ages, makes this an appealing read for both girls and boys. >Book Review Trailer on YouTube: