Wonder should be required reading for children AND adults
Wonder by R.J. Palacio; published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York; 2012.
August was born with a birth defect. His face looks more like a Halloween mask. Frequent surgeries have made this homeschooled boy stronger but his family decide maybe he needs to attend school to further develop his inner strength. This book documents Auggie’s fifth grade year at a new school, as told through his eyes, his sister’s, his new friends, and his sister’s boyfriend. With Auggie’s triumph we also celebrate the strengths of those around him.
Palacio’s debut novel for middle grade readers should be required reading for children and adults alike. The effects of bullying on the greater school community as well as on the whole family are well-described. I would like to see all third or fourth grade teachers and/or school librarians reading this aloud to their classes. I’d like every administrator in every school to read it and study the administrators’ choices in Wonder. I wish that every adult would read it and accept that ALL people should be treated with respect and a sincere (not “shiny” as Auggie described) smile. Perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for the victims of bullying, but this is a triumph of a novel.
Librarians, put this on your recommended reads list for teachers, parents, and upper elementary and middle school students. This has to be included in any reading list about bullying. I’d also like to see someone put together an MP3 mix of all the songs mentioned in the book.
I cannot recommend this book enough!!!