R.J. Palacio’s Wonder was a pretty good book. It’s a fictional account of a boy named August “Auggie” Pullman who has a facial abnormality. I would have called it a deformity, but the characters in the book seem offended by the word, and I don’t know the author’s relationship with people who have facial abnormalities.
The book gets off to a really slow start. It took me over a week to get through the first hundred pages; that’s probably because as I’m reading the 1st-person account of a ten-year-old 5th grader, I’m hearing everything in the voice of a middle-aged woman. I would definitely say that either Palacio doesn’t really know what it was like to be a 5th grade boy or I’m out of touch. I assume that she did her research before writing Wonder, but I can’t help but shake the slow, dry, distance that I felt as I read the first 80 pages or so.
I will admit that I changed my mind there. If Palacio does one thing really well, it’s character changing. The book starts in August’s voice, but starts to transition to his family, friends, and even some minor characters get to tell their parts of the story that involves them. Palacio is really good at this. She’s good at changing characters, I still think she just didn’t do a 5-star job with her 10-year-old boy character. It’s a shame he was the protagonist.
The book ended about the same way as it started, and felt a bit forced. I did like it overall, though. I liked that it talked about some important social discussion we need to have nowadays, especially bullying. Do I think that everyone needs to read this book? No. If you plan to read the book, will I tell you not to? No. It’s a good book, and it’s a good story. It just could’ve had a better author.