Monday, April 30, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Wonder

To find out more about Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, click here.
Author: RJ Palacio (link)
Genre: Contemporary
Pub Date: February 2012

Synopsis: August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

First Line: I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid.

Though we humans have a pretty scary capacity for cruelty, what can be even more remarkable is our innate kindness and compassion. In Wonder, we get a glimpse of how complicated friendship, group-think, bullying, and facing the world as a middle grader can be. Sometimes, the heroes falter. Sometimes, Augie can be kind of selfish. And sometimes, you love the bullies for their sudden acts of kindness. Along with being a thoughtfully written, heartfelt story with characters you'll love, this book is also a gentle reminder of the golden rule, and that everyone is someone. 

A Study on Perspective: Pretty early in the book, Augie's new principal says that in middle school there's typically many sides to any story. One of the neat things about Wonder is that it's told from multiple points of view. As each character reveals their take on what's happening, you realize you are only getting his or her perspective, and sometimes you have to wait to find out what's really going on when you hear the narrative told from someone else.

Why You'll Love Augie: As a fifth grade boy, Augie probably wouldn't want me to say this, but I will anyway. He's the sweetest. The sweetest!! He's also an honest narrator who admits when he's being a crank or a baby, and isn't afraid to let you know that the things that hurt really do hurt. Whether he's facing a challenge or learning something about himself, it's impossible not to root for this little guy.

Check out more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday picks at these blogs:
  • Shannon Whitney Messenger's blog
  • Jennifer Rumberger's blog
  • Joanne Fritz's blog
  • Danika Dinsmore's blog
  • Shannon O'Donnell's blog 
  • Natalie Aguirre's blog
  • Brooke Favero's blog
  • Barbara Watson's blog
  • Anita Laydon Miller's blog
  • Michael G-G's blog
  • Pam Torres's blog
  • Akoss-Nye Louwon's blog
  • Gabrielle Prendergast's blog
  • Kelly Polark's blog 
  • Isaiah J Campbell's blog
  • Kim Aippersbach's blog 
  • Laurisa White Reyes' blog 
  • Andrea Mack's blog


  1. Hi Gina, thanks for the review. I started reading Wonder, but I stopped when the POV changed. I was so into that 1st person narrative that I just couldn't connect when it changed. But I will go back and pick up where I left off. I have had this happen with books before, and I have been able to pick up where I left off and enjoy the book, especially if others have already said the book is good.

  2. This sounds like a book I want to read! Thanks.

    I usually have a MMGM too - add me to your list if you like.

  3. Thanks for the great review. I'll definitely be putting Wonder on my TBR list.

  4. Great first line. Definitely creates intrigue ;)

  5. Oh, I love love love this book. I'm expecting it to win all kinds of awards (at the very least the Schneider Family Award -- mark my words!) It was a little strange when the POV changed, but I appreciated learning more about Auggie from other kids. And the ending is perfect.

  6. I have this one and can't wait to read it! I'm hearing so many good things. :)

  7. I have this one and can't wait to read it! I'm hearing so many good things. :)

  8. Sounds like a great book. Like Shannon, I've been hearing great things about this.

  9. I think this is a book my "sweetest" fifth grade boy will enjoy. Thanks for the recommendation.

  10. My kids and I are reading this aloud right now! Love, LOVE it! It's one of those special books that grabs your heart and stays with you forever.

  11. Thanks for sharing about this book. I am particularly interested in books where the author can write from multiple perspectives, as that can be tough to pull off.

  12. This sounds just lovely. I shall add it to my pile of books. I hadn't heard of it before.

  13. I just read some of the reviews on GoodReads. Okay, this one is going near the top for me now. Thanks for letting us know about it!