I love reading, primarily non-fiction, but this novel truly captured me from the get-go. Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a rich story about a boy, August “Auggie” Pullman. Auggie begins going to school outside his home for the first time in 5th grade. He was born with facial deformities, and the story revolves around him, relationships with his family, friends and school personnel.
I read the first couple of chapters alone, but during a recent camping trip, my oldest daughter (7 years) asked what I was reading. I provided her with a brief description and she asked if I could read it aloud to her. We spent the following mornings and evenings reading together. She was just as eager to read on as I.
The book provoked conversations I wouldn’t have had otherwise with my daughter around disability, respect, maturity and family.
There is no doubt this fictional character left a long-lasting impact on my daughter and me.
Excerpt from the book: “And Mom and Dad don’t see me as ordinary, either. They see me as extraordinary. I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.
My name is August, by the way. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”