“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”R. J. Palacio, Wonder
My son is an avid reader. He devours books like there is no tomorrow. Like most children, his favorites are fantasy books but every once in a while, I like to introduce him to some ‘different’ books that are thought-provoking, that will enhance his understanding of the human nature and help him grow as a person.
This time I got the book, Wonder, for him and I was not disappointed.
Author: R. J. Palacio
Raquel Jaramillo Palacio is an American author and graphic designer. She was born in 1963 in New York City. He parents were Colombian immigrants. She began her career as an illustrator and designed book covers for hundreds of books. She also illustrated several children’s books that she wrote herself. She has authored several novels for children including the best-selling Wonder.
Age Range: 8-12 years
Younger children might be able to read it, based on language difficulty, but might not be able to completely grasp the emotional angles of the book.
As far as the message in the book goes, it is a though-provoking book that people across age groups, even adults, might find interesting.
Wonder is the story of a 10-year-old boy, August Pullman (Auggie). He feels like a regular kid, but he is not. His many surgeries have left his face disfigured and as a result his interactions with people are far from the usual. He is starting school as a fifth grader and he wonders how he will fit in.
As expected, many kids stare at him, make fun of him, and even start a game called the ‘plague’ where anyone who touches Auggie catches the ‘disease’. Auggie, with a couple of his friends braves through it all till the others understand kindness and empathy.
“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”R.J. Palacio, Wonder
What is amazing about the book is that Auggie’s character doesn’t demand pity or special treatment. All he wants, is to be treated like any other kid, because that is how he feels. The book is a lesson on kindness and empathy. The author has dealt with this tough topic in a straightforward, no-nonsense way, without making it extra emotional. Despite Auggie’s not so common problems, he is a relatable character and any person who faces any kind of discrimination can empathize with him.
The success of the book prompted its adaptation into a 2017 film starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.
A must read for children of all ages. I believe it is not enough for the child to read it. It is important for the parents to discuss the story and the different characters with the child and help him appreciate the nuances of the book.
Links to buy the book:
Amazon India link: https://amzn.to/39bYgl3
Amazon .com link: https://amzn.to/3QatKsj
“Here’s what I think: the only reason I’m not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.”R.J. Palacio, Wonder
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