Wonder by R. J. Palacio


R. J. Palacio
Brilliance Audio, 2012
ISBN: 9781455844203
FORMAT: Audio Book
AGES: Elementary School, Middle School
5 Stars

I read this book as part of the 2013 YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge. So far for the challenge I have read:

26. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
25. The Diviners by Libba Bray
24. The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez
23. The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna
22. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
21. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
20. Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami
19. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
17. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
15. In Darkness by Nick Lake
14. Crusher by Niall Leonard
13. Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
12. The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
11. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
10. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert
9. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
6. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
4. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
3. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
2. Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
1. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

This was the last book I am going to read for this year’s YALSA Best of the Best Reading Challenge. And I tell you what, it has been one long journey of reading (and listening to) so many great books. And I am glad I waited to add this last audio review (seeing how I put this one on hold at the very beginning and I just got it recently).

This book is about Auggie Pullman, a boy who is about to start the 5th grade at Beecher Prep. The only trouble is that Auggie has never been to public or private school before. He was home schooled. Because it was too dangerous for his health to be exposed to a school full of germs. And seeing how he was in and out of the hospital for surgery so often due to the extreme facial deformities that he has, he is unsure about exposing his face (and himself) to a middle school full of peer pressure to be “normal” when he knows he never can be.

One of the things that I liked the most about this book was the audio recording itself. There were multiple readers, which was great seeing how you really got a sense of which characters were speaking. And the brilliant thing about the book is that it isn’t just in Auggie’s point of view. There are tidbites that you learn from his sister, his friends, and even a friend of his sister. And those parts aren’t just about Auggie. They are, but that isn’t all they are about. For example, here I was listening to this audio book thinking “that sister is pretty mean sometimes” and then comes the part of the sister. Yeah you find out why she was mean (which is the part that relates to Auggie), but you get loads more details as well. Similar to how in life everything that happens with the sister isn’t totally focused on her brother. Readers get a hint about what is happening outside of Auggie’s world even though it will eventually affect Auggie.

And to top it off, Auggie is just such a great character. He is the type that you would wish you could be friends with in junior high school. He can see what happens around him, and he tries his best to make a good situation out of it. Sure enough the intelligence and the humor and the raw emotion that comes from Auggie got to me. I seriously wish that kid came to my library so I could talk to him some more. This is a memorable story with a character that will truly make you wonder. Well done!

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