Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This charming book is a must read for any middle or high school student. Even the adults are discovering it and in the UK they even made an adult-oriented cover! This novel details the story of August Pullman’s (Auggie’s) first year of middle school at Beecher Prep in New York City. Even though he’s had twenty-seven facial surgeries, the 10-year-old’s face is severely deformed. He tells readers, “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” He’s always been home schooled, but his loving parents think it’s time for him to be with other kids, and he tentatively agrees. His first year of regular school is full of ups and downs, and to no one’s surprise, bullying by the class snob. His surviving this will depend on his own inner strength and the few friends he is making at school. The climax of the story involves a sleep-away nature camp and a group of boys whose cruelty brings out the best in Auggie and his friends.
I loved this book and recommend to all tween and teen readers. It speaks to the ideas of unconditional love, kindness towards one another, and hope. This book made me both laugh and cry, a great response in my mind!