Author: R. J. Palacio Published: 14 February 2012
By Vanessa Vlajkovic
Wonder is a book which, through the eyes of different people, tells an emotional yet educative story about August Pullman – a 10 year old boy who was born with an atypical face. The disorder is a real thing but the tale is based on an experience the author herself had, which inspired her to write something society could learn from.
Not only will the book make you cry – it will teach you a valuable lesson about accepting those who do not look like you. Further, it is an eye-opener to those people who have never encountered disability or any form of unusualness. And while August does not classify as having a disability, the condition he has makes his life much, much more challenging than if he actually had special needs.
Being deafblind myself, I connected with the story on many levels, but I also got an insight into how tough life can be when you’re dealt a shitty hand of cards at the start. I don’t even remotely look “different” but the themes of friendship and bullying resonated strongly with my own experiences at school.
I really love how the author doesn’t try to soften August’s reality – rather, she opts to show how characters such as Julian do exist and that the world is full of cruel children – and parents, for that matter.
The importance of acceptance cannot be understated – it’s truly so sad to know that there are humans out there who are so insecure themselves that harrassing those more vulnerable than them is their only source of satisfaction.
In short, I would highly recommend Wonder to anyone and everyone – even the hardest hearts will melt after reading it. Having a variety of perspectives helps readers better understand the thought processes of family members and friends who are affected by August’s situation.
Five stars, hands down.