Review: Wonder

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“August is the Sun.” – Via

5 out of 5 stars

If I were to sum up the message of this wonderful, heartwarming, uplifting book, it is that it tells the triumph of a good and kind heart.

Auggie is a ten-year-old boy with a severely deformed face because of bad genes. The book narrates his first time out of home-school and straight into middle-school in their community. He has been sheltered since birth but now has to learn to socialize and interact with strangers, who almost all, are either scared or turned off by his ugliness.

His adventures and misadventures, his wins and losses, his delights and disappointments were told in a light, sometimes humorous manner, yet with such depth and effect that touch the heart and nourish the soul.

It was so easy reading this book, smoothly narrated not just by Auggie but also by his sister and his friends. I loved that. It gave readers the chance to see Auggie through the eyes of people close to him, and by doing so, we come to understand and empathize with their reaction to his disfigured face without hating or judging them. They were just being human with a heart full of love for Auggie.

I cried towards the end of the book. I cried of happiness for Auggie. I cried, thinking of many more children like him or even not exactly like him who may be struggling to fit in, be accepted and loved by the world. Who, at the same time, struggle with themselves, trying to understand why people are mean and cruel, and trying really hard not to hate them, striving for their heart to remain unblemished and kind and good in spite and despite the bad, harsh treatment accorded to them.

Because that’s how Auggie is. That’s the message of the book.

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.

“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use (sic) of strength. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.”

This book is not just about growing up. It’s growing up with a deformity that you can’t do anything about, and which is nobody’s fault. But the author did not dwell on the whys of it. Instead, she maneuvered on the how-tos of accepting, living with, and overcoming that deformity. Which made this book special, I think. It did not focus on the bad but magnified the good. The good being the courage of a deformed boy to face the world, the enduring, unconditional love of a family, and the bravery and humility to change from cruelty to kindness, from judging to understanding and accepting…and ultimately, loving Auggie.

If you want a powerful, feel-good story, look no further.

My drawing of Auggie’s face based on Via’s description

P.S. I have yet to watch the movie, but I surely hope it will be as good as the book. I have watched the movie, and the book is way better. (Sorry, Julia.) Also, the book is a consistent bestseller on Amazon! Get it now:

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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