Wonder

by R J Palacio

Read time: about 5 minutes

Doctors have come from distant cities

Just to see me

stand over my bed

Disbelieving what they’re seeing

They say I must be one of the wonders

Of God’s own creation

And as far as they see they can offer

No explanation

And if you were wondering why a book on a child with face defect is called ‘Wonder’, this is why! Don’t you love how the author introduces the book to you?

Written in a such an intimacy to make you fall in love with everything created by God, the book retains the childlike innocence. This is one of the bests children’s literature I have read in the modern times. Take a peek with me!

Cover: Wonder

Cover page

I am not a great fan of movie-tie-in covers but this one is an exception. The book is not a color riot. The graphic does not fill the page but it is very appealing. The lead character Auggie is seen wearing a spacesuit helmet! What could be cuter than that!

You are introduced to August right in the beginning. It is like greeting each other before you know more about his life. The graphic lightly fits into the text and boom! We have a beautiful cover! Not to forget the blue of the space.

Characters

There are plenty of characters in the book. There is August himself who suffers from face defect. Other characters are people around August such as his parents, sister and friends. All these characters have one thing in common. Apart from playing a part in August’s life they all care for him deeply.

Via, August’s sister, understands that even with her worst days could not match with a Normal day in life of August.

My worst day, worst fall, worst headache, worst bruise, worst cramp, worst mean thing anyone could say has always been nothing compared to what August has gone through.

Summer is a friend from August’s school who craves for a genuine friend and she feels she has finally found one in August.

Justin is Via’s boyfriend who when meets August for the first time is taken by surprise. But he slowly gets used to him because of his love for Via.

There are plenty of characters in this book that feel connected to each other via August.

Content

I had been eyeing this book since two years now but it was right after the movie trailer released that I finally bought my copy.

This book is about a boy with face defect. His face is completely deformed. However, after a series of successful operations doctors manage to fix his face a bit. August is deeply embarrassed of the glances people throw at him whenever he goes out. To escape these, August wore around the helmet of the spacesuit his parents got him for Halloween for days. He got over it when he couldn’t find it one day in him home after searching for hours.

To protect the child his parents decide to homeschool him. But now he is nine years old and her mother cannot handle him. She wants him to experience the world outside to prepare him for it.

After a lot of hesitation August agrees to visit the school once. During the course of the visit he meets three students. That makes him realise that they are just like him. He wants to give chance to school now.

The book is about August going to school and things that happen to him there. There are some very mean people in the school but at some point they get bored and mind their own business. August makes some great friends whom he has little tiff with but all ends well.

The book is written in perspective of those who know August such as his parents, sister and her boyfriend, his friends etc. Each one of them talks about how their life is altered when August walked into it. The chapters begin with tiny quotes from different music, book or movies. It is rather cute.

Sometimes by head is so big

Because it is so full of dreams.

  • John Merrick in Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man

All the narrations make the book whole. It is lovely to see so many people connected with each other via August. The book is a universe by itself.

There is plenty of emotions in the book. Do not be surprised if you feel tears in your face at some point while reading the book.

Language

The Language is utterly simple. It is fun to read. The play of emotions are on spot. There are some really great sentences to quote. The author has a flair that is evident.

Good points

I absolutely loved the cover page. The characters are so human, you can touch them. They have their owns fears and insecurities that make them relatable. The story line is grasping. It keeps you wanting for more. The language is very simple and understandable.

Bad points

This book cannot be read at one stretch. It is deeply emotional. So if you are not prepared for that this is not something you should go for.

Overall

This is one of the best children’s books I have read. Definitely worth giving a shot!

Whom do I recommend this to

This is for anyone enjoys a good emotional book once in a while.

Quotable Quotes

I finished War and Peace in October. It was amazing. People think it’s such a hard read, but it’s really just a soap opera with lots of characters, people falling in love, fighting for love, dying for love. I want to be in love like that someday. I want my husband to love me the way Prince Andrei loves Natasha.

“It feels so weird,” I said, “to not have people talking to you, pretending you don’t even exist.”

Auggie started smiling.

“Ya think?” he said sarcastically. “Welcome to my world!”

Buy the book

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com