Wonder is a story that all middle school children should be reading. As an elementary teacher, I can tell you that it doesn't do justice to the occasional savagery of young adults, but it's still a close enough approximation to be a valuable tale.
The trouble with this recording is the narrator who performs the role of August. August is in many ways a naive and overprotected character, but the narrator's vocal presentation is not nuanced and represents him as more infantile than I understood him to be. Indeed, I'm not sure this male role should have been performed by a woman: I found her attempt at a prepubescent male child's voice to be grating and unpleasant to listen to. The narrator who performed Jack's character was much more believable as a city kid; indeed, all the other character performances (some of which may have been performed by the same narrator who performs as August, but using a different voice, thankfully) were excellent. If you can tolerate this troublesome character representation, then you'll enjoy this book. I gritted my teeth and plowed through the initial sections until the narrators switched, and I'm glad I did---the story's worth reading to its conclusion.
When a book is this original, this heartfelt, this inspiring, this real, I find myself babbling in clich??: Wonder is truly wondrous.
Auggie Pullman is 10. He???s about to start fifth grade after being homeschooled, and he???s more than a little nervous: ???I know I???m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. ??? 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.??? Born with a genetic facial deformity, Auggie has survived 27 operations since he was born. ???I won???t describe what I look like. Whatever you???re thinking, it???s probably worse.???
In a world where being even a little different can cause a lot of heartbreak, Auggie???s entry into a New York City private middle school is a shocker ??? for both him and everyone around him. Wonder follows Auggie through his public debut as he navigates beyond his comfort zone, finding new friends and allies, experiencing an independence he (nor his family) dreamed of, and learning who to trust and who to let go. [The NON-Wonder Award, by the way, unquestionably goes to a wealthy parent (who is vice president of the school board, no less) who Photoshops Auggie out of the class picture and even shares it with other parents!]
R.J. Palacio enhances Auggie???s story with multiple points of view ??? his friends, his sister, his sister???s new boyfriend, his sister???s ex-best friend even! ??? to create a richly detailed, utterly believable record of one extraordinary boy???s one unforgettable year. Note to parents: don???t read (or listen, as I did ??? so convincingly narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, and Kate Rudd) in crowded places, unless you???re okay with being an exhibitionist (pack Kleenex!).
The end during the principal's speech & the woods scene are two moments that I sat perfectly still for so I wouldn't miss a word.
The principal's speech.
Yes. I started listening with my children but couldnt wait for them. I listened without them and finished in 2 days. It's beautiful.
I bought the book for friends as well.
My only complaint: the cartoonish narration detracted from this otherwise sublime and poignant story. A wonderful book– one that everyone should read.
Actually yes... That answer actually shocks me more than anything. I'm an avid reader and I am just now getting into audiobooks. I purchased this book on a bogo sale and I was definitely not disappointed. The narrators were amazing and I felt the characters truly come alive.
They all were amazing.
This book made me laugh, made me tear up and it made me angry. I was invested in the characters and I definitely loved the emotions in this book.
A must read for children and adults. A well-told story of a boy who looks very different and how he copes in a regular, public school… and how those around him cope as well. It will make you cry and fill your heart.
This is a novel about Auggie's first year in school - in 5th grade. He had always been home-schooled because of a disease at birth that resulted in a face that horrified many. Auggie gets into a private school, and his parents hope that this will be a safe environment, knowing how cruel children can be to someone who looks so different. Most of the novel is a first person narrative from Auggie's point of view, but some chapters were from the first person perspective of other characters. This novel is moving, funny, and above all else, believable. The adults and children are all portrayed so well - some likeable, some not, and many in that true-to-life gray area. In the years since my own children have grown up, I occasionally listen to juvenile fiction, searching for ones like those I so loved reading to my own kids. I have been invariably disappointed, wondering how books could receive such accolades. This novel was everything I expected, and more. This is so good, it could be read by a child, to a child, or just by an adult (like me). It avoids so many of the predictable plot twists seen so often in youth fiction. I can't say enough about this book.
inspired needed improvement
Augie's sister's friend who always loved him as a brother, and did one of the most selfless and influential things in the book, and something that spoke to me, when she gave up her leading roll on opening night to Vi.
I enjoyed having different performers for the different characters. I thought the performances were wonderful, and each added another layer of understanding to all the characters combined. I don't think I would have imagined Augie's voice the way it was performed, and it really helped me immediately think of him as different and be able to picture him better from the beginning.
Definitely, I laughed out loud a lot, gasped in shock, worry or suspense, and definitely cried! A lot!!
I think this book should be read by everyone, young and old. It reminds us of things we knew as little children but forgot, or perhaps never learned. I love how it teaches us to be kinder than is necessary. What a beautiful admonition.
I haven't read the print version.
"One Good Dog" and "the Dog Who Danced" both by Susan Wilson. They both show the goodness and kindness of people and the difference that makes to the lives of others. Also, that from sad situations good things can happen.
I listened to this with my 11 year old son. We both enjoyed this and in this current societal environment, it's a good lesson about understanding differences, empathy and acceptance. I'm glad we were introduced to August.