Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a really inspiring book, written in the children’s genre. While I think it would be really beneficial for children to read this, I also think every single person in the world, at any age, should read this book. I’m twenty years old and I am so moved and inspired by this book. The story is incredibly sweet. The reading level is very simple and the book is easy to follow, but the bigger picture and meaning behind this book is extremely influential.
This book follows a ten year old boy, named Auggie, with a facial abnormality. He’s finally going to public school after being home-schooled his entire life. We follow Auggie and the lives of everyone he has touched, with switching POV’s throughout. All Auggie wants to do is convince his classmates that despite his appearance, he’s just like them.
A key character in Wonder is Auggie’s English teacher, Mr. Browne. He has these precepts that he shares with his students each month to motivate them. Some are famous quotes, some are fortune cookie sayings, and some are written by Mr Browne’s past students. R. J. Palacio has published a book full of precepts called 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts. My favorite is the first one we ever read about in Wonder; “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”
Another cool thing the author did was write some chapters from other POV’s that she didn’t get to in the actual book. She recently released these as a collection called Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories. These are written from the point of view of Auggie’s bully Julian, Auggie’s oldest friend Christopher, and Auggie’s classmate Charlotte. I’ve only read the Julian chapter because it came in my copy of Wonder, but I’m excited to read the rest of them and get inside other characters’ minds.
Here are some of my favorite quotes and precepts from Wonder.
“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”
“Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”
“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.”
If you couldn’t already tell, I 100% recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and I truly think it will be enjoyed, no matter what your normal reading preference is. Happy reading! 🙂