I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an Xbox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go. If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all. I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-away thing. Here's what I think: the only reason I'm not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.
Oh how I loved, loved, loved R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. While it would have been a great novel if it had just been told by Auggie (August), I think it's an even better novel because it is told through multiple points of view which gives readers insight into how others see Auggie--and treat Auggie. But. At the same time reminding us all that we ALL have issues. Auggie's sister, Via, for example, is dealing with changes of her own. She's having her own struggles. And because her brother is almost always the most needy or the most obviously needy one in the family, she can feel invisible and taken for granted. Every voice feels authentic in Wonder--which makes it a great read! One that is oh-so-easy to recommend.
So in Wonder, Auggie, a boy with a special face struggles to adapt to his new school, his first real school. His first day of fifth grade is his first day at school ever. He's nervous as can be, as you would expect. How will others treat him? How will teachers treat him for that matter? It won't be easy. Acceptance won't come all that easy. But can Auggie find friends--true friends who love and appreciate him?!
As I said, I just LOVED this one.
If you're looking for a great coming-of-age read
If you're looking to read the best of the best in MG fiction
If you enjoy realistic fiction with school settings that deal with bullying and friendship
If you enjoy family dramas
Don't get attached to the dog.
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews