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Wonder | [R. J. Palacio]

Wonder

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Children's Titles for Ages 8-12, 2013

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

©2012 R. J. Palacio (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Wonder is a book with such a big, wide heart - it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer!” (Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender, Before We Were Free, Finding Miracles, and the Tía Lola Stories)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (987 )
5 star
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2 star
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4.6 (888 )
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Story
4.5 (894 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gregor Bailar 07-02-12 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WONDER is truly wondrous ..."
    Any additional comments?

    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!).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisha Silver Spring, MD, United States 04-07-12
    Alisha Silver Spring, MD, United States 04-07-12 Member Since 2006

    CF0M0M

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pure perfection. Excellent narration."
    Where does Wonder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 3.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wonder?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The principal's speech.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I started listening with my children but couldnt wait for them. I listened without them and finished in 2 days. It's beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought the book for friends as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny Flemington, NJ, United States 01-04-13
    Bonny Flemington, NJ, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2009

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
    ratings
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    "Overly simplistic approach to a complex subject"

    This is a tough book for me to review as it's written for middle grade readers, and I graduated from that group long, long ago. It was so highly reviewed that I decided to read it. I think the 4 and 5 star reviews may be from people that like happy endings and can better imagine how this book will be received by the intended audience than I was able to.

    Things I liked about Wonder:
    *August is an engaging, original protagonist.
    *Palacio's use of different points of view. August's sister, Via, had an amazing exploration of what it was like to be the non-sick, normal kid in the family. She hit on all the aspects, positive and negative, avoidable and unavoidable. I actually found Olivia to be the most interesting character.
    *Palacio's whole exploration of "beauty is only skin deep" and "it's what's on the inside that counts" from many angles. Even after reading Wonder, I'm still not sure what my reaction to a person like August would be, or what the best response might be.

    Things I didn't like about Wonder:
    *I wish there had been more detailed medical information. The lack of detail is most likely because it's not something the intended audience needs or wants, but I think more information would have added to a better understanding of exactly what August had gone through during his ten years. There is a mention of his 27 surgeries, and that he suffers from Treacher-Collins syndrome combined with some rare mystery syndrome, but a bit more background would have added to exactly what a wonder he was.
    *I wish there had been more development of Julian. He played a big part in the story, but was the least explored.
    *I wish the ending had not been so "happily ever after". There were pat resolutions on all fronts and this is not how things would have worked out.
    *I listened to this as an audiobook, and the voice of August was horrendous. I almost gave up in the first ten minutes because it was so bad. Another reviewer describes the voice as sounding like "a slightly retarded Marge Simpson" and I completely agree.
    *The cover! Is it meant to be slightly disturbing without too much attention to detail? It's certainly not a depiction of August with one eye and the presence of ears! It may seem like a silly detail, but covers are important to me, and I think think this book deserved a far better cover.

    Overall, 3 stars for a book that takes an overly simplistic approach (even for middle grade readers) to a very complex subject.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-25-13
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Stunning"

    My only complaint: the cartoonish narration detracted from this otherwise sublime and poignant story. A wonderful book– one that everyone should read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    samantha Clements cranston, ri United States 08-19-14
    samantha Clements cranston, ri United States 08-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Beautiful story but the narration is AWFUL!"
    If you could sum up Wonder in three words, what would they be?

    Loved the story


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration almost made me stop listening! The whispery raspy voice the narrator used was VERY annoying!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Albany, NY, United States 08-01-14
    Barbara Albany, NY, United States 08-01-14 Member Since 2005

    Since taking my first creative writing class in 2008 the pleasure I used to get from reading has been greatly reduced. I notice things I never noticed before. That said, I think I rate books pretty generously. Anyone who actually manages to write a whole book and then get it published deserves an extra star.

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    "This book lives up to all the great reviews"

    I bought this book because of the great reviews. And it lived up to all of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy Jewel 07-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Simple and Amazing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wonder to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    They all were amazing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nei Baon Fairbanks, Alaska 06-06-14
    Nei Baon Fairbanks, Alaska 06-06-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredibly moving and insightful"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 05-20-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic children's novel for all ages"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jonathan 04-30-14
    jonathan 04-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "a book for all ages"
    If you could sum up Wonder in three words, what would they be?

    inspired needed improvement


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Definitely, I laughed out loud a lot, gasped in shock, worry or suspense, and definitely cried! A lot!!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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