Monday, March 10, 2014

CHILDREN'S | Book Rave: Wonder

This past weekend has been a crazy one (two sisters birthdays!), so I haven't had time to work on much, but I'm hoping to get back on my already-flexible schedule.

Today, I have my first post for my Children's theme, a Book Rave for a book I read back at the beginning of 2014, Wonder by R.J. Palacio.


Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Genre: Children's
Pages: 315
Release date: January 1, 2012
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

My rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

PLOT SUMMARY (courtesy of Goodreads):

"August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


Wonder is one of the reasons why I love children's books. These late-elementary/middle school books are always so wonderfully eye-opening. However, I'm raving about this book in particular because everything about it was just well done. The story is about young Auggie Pullman and the way in which his distorted physical appearance changes him and those around him. It is a great book for those late-elementary school/middle school students in particular, but can still be appreciated by young adults and adults as well.


Though this book introduces itself with mystique (led on by its narrator on his physical appearance), it addresses many of the common issues children undergo from elementary to middle school or from middle school to high school. Wonder brings forth the issues of how quickly people can come together and, likewise, how easily they can fall apart. It's in these early years that you first learn what friendship truly means.


One of my favorite things about this book was the characters. Wonder interchanges perspective from the lead character, Auggie, to others around him (classmates, friends, etc.). And while I believe that books told from multiple perspectives are largely overdone as of late, this book does it the way it should be done. It adds unique perspectives with unique, convincing voices. When characters are well established, everything else can more easily fall into place.


As far as writing goes, there's not much for me to say. The writing style in Wonder is very on-point. The narration is told from varying perspectives, and as each perspective changes, the style changes accordingly.


My rating for this book came out to a 4.25. For me, that is a nearly perfect score. Books that earn 5 stars need to have that quality that make me feel like I could read it 1000 times over and only love it more as I do. With Wonder, I think once is enough. However, it is a book that I would pass on to my hypothetical children- high praise if I do say so myself. ;)

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