Wonder, a book released in 2012 by R.J. Palacio, is a story of a 10-year old boy named August “Auggie” Pullman. Auggie is just like any other kid: he’s funny, loved by family and friends, has a very cute dog, and seriously enjoys Halloween. Yes, he’s quite ordinary except that he’s not.
No, August has never been ordinary. For one, he gets stared at A LOT. Most of the times the glances are filled with curious questions, other times the subtle looks are tinged with sympathy and a little disgust and horror.
He is deformed. He has no real ears, a flesh of a nose, displaced eyes, and mouth that couldn’t quite close all the way. In Auggie’s own words: “Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse”.
The book provides its readers a glimpse of what goes on in the head of people suffering the same fate as August—kids who are ashamed of themselves and doesn’t quite like taking a look in the mirror, kids who can never be ordinary in the eyes of many. Aside from August’s narration, we also got to take a look at how his family, friends, and other people around him has seen August.
All over the book, there are parts that could break your heart into pieces without meaning to. Some narrations make you want to pause and just take it in all the sorrow, the pain, the joy, and how all these things come together and make up a message that will pierce your heart and inevitably change you.
I loved how August’s older sister, Via, managed to summarize how she feels about the whole situation: August is the sun and everybody else are planets orbiting around him.
Auggie’s universe was marked with people who chose kindness over anything else. Some made mistakes but redeemed themselves in ways that will make you feel proud and reflect on yourself. The book is a real eye-opener—a straightforward, lightly written prose that will surely melt the hearts of many.
Wonder is a story of life in the eyes of a kid struggling to be ordinary but soon realizes that it’s okay to be unique. That somehow, you even get an award and a standing ovation just by being yourself, loving and accepting who you are–flaws and all.
And for August, his family, friends, and everyone at Beech Prep, that’s all that matters.
Favorite quote from the book:
“No, no, it’s not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. And the universe doesn’t. It takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can’t see. Like with parents who adore you blindly. And a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. And a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. And even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. Maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. The universe takes care of all its birds.”