BOOK REVIEW > WONDER BY R.J PALACIO
To me reading is as important as breathing. I ALWAYS have a book in my bag even if I'm only going on a 10 minute train journey. I would say I'm probably just as big a BookGeek as I am a DeesignGeek.
A book I have just finished reading is "Wonder" by RJ Palacio after it was recommended in The Metro newspaper.
It is one of those books that you keep thinking about long after you've put it down.
It introduces you to the main character August, nicknamed Auggie, who is 10 and has been home schooled due to the 27 operations he has had to correct severe craniofacial abnormalities. Straight off it sounds like some deep and heavy material to read especially as August introduces himself by saying ~
"I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse" but it is the most uplifting book I have read and instils the belief that human kindness and "good" people will prevail even when situations feel hopeless.
The external characteristics you imagine fade as you read on and his courage and kindness in the face of school bullies and embarrassed siblings shines through.
He is tested as he starts school for the first time, with even his dad stating he'll be like "a lamb to the slaughter", and meets his fellow classmates, some have been briefed on his condition and asked to look after him and some sit and talk to him when they see him sitting on his own and of course the school bully who manages to turn his whole year against him.
The beauty of this book was how it evoked unexpected bouts of sympathy for example the school bully, when his mum speaks to the headmaster about the fact that Auggie should be in a special needs school even though there is nothing mentally or emotionally wrong with him - he just looks different is when you realise he is only acting the way he has been "guided".
It not only looks at how Auggie copes with peoples reaction but how his new friends are affected by just associating with him. Each character narrates their own chapters so you get their take on each situation as well as Auggie's, which put a great spin on the story.
Although they are only ten you can see how the choices the characters make will shape them into the adults they will become.