Wonder, by Raquel J. Palacio, is a tale of how differences can be overcome if you simply look past them. A boy named Auggie has a severe facial disfigurement, which causes him to have an “unsettling” appearance that others are scared of interacting with. He was not enrolled in a public school because he was always in the hospital receiving surgeries. During this time, his older sister Via was his best and only friend. For his fifth grade year, Auggie is enrolled in a private school and makes new friends, while also having to deal with students in his grade who constantly bully him.
Wonder is broken up into parts, which are each told from a different character’s point of view. This setup is able to show many sides of the story, and how each character feels throughout the book. These parts progress in time, so the character telling the story will not retell the last event, but rather tell life how they are seeing it in real time. This immerses the reader into their world and continuously changes their perspective on the story, which makes it a more interesting novel.
Multiple BSGE students have read Wonder and wanted to share their opinions about it. Emily Costa ‘21 said, “I think it was really interesting to see through the perspective of the boy because of how people treat him differently.” Meanwhile, Willow Desoucey ‘22 elaborated, “I liked that Wonder covered issues that people don’t think about often, like identity. The main character, August, is inspiring because he shows perseverance even though he has difficulty adapting to a different environment he’s not used to… I suggest this book to anyone that feels like they have difficulty fitting in because August is relatable.”
Wonder is a roller coaster of emotions, from joy to woe to sorrow and might even bring tears to the reader’s eyes. Every page is so well-crafted that the reader feels as if they are sucked into the fictional city of Brooklyn Heights, experiencing the events with the rest of the characters. Although the plot might not seem extravagant, it is amazing in its own way. Anyone who needs a good book to read next should consider Wonder.