I read a book recently and I have already recommended it to several people, however I feel the need to express how much I enjoyed this book. WONDER by R. J. Palacio is one of those books that truly touched me. Ms. Palacio wrote a beautifully crafted book that shows the trials middle schoolers go through, and how the events in their life affects those of the their family. Now before you think this is just a normal middle school student struggling in school story, I want to explain something; the main character August, a Star Wars obsessed 5th grader, was born with a facial deformity that subjected him to several operations over the course of his life. He was also, due to his condition, home schooled and spent the majority of his time with this family, never being able to make real friends. The book begins with him embarking on his first year at a real school, with kids who have never seen him before, and who might not treat him like every other normal 5th grader.
So does this sound like the typical middle school story? I didn’t think so. And it wasn’t written that way either. Ms. Palacio writes in a style that allows each character their own voice and their own time in the spot light. Though this is the story of August, there are many other characters involved, and their relationship with him affects all of them differently. From his older sister who is finally able to be in a place (high school actually) where she is not known as having a brother with a deformity; to her new boyfriend who is hoping to impress her family; to August’s friends as school, each character is allowed to speak and show their side of the story. After all there are more than 1 side and usually we as readers only see one. Ms. Palacio delivers us a dose of reality, in the voices of children.
This is a book that truly spoke to me and I will recommend this to anyone who would want to read it.