So the Book of the Week post is a little late this week.
Sometimes things happen you know. And I think I’ve been feeding you all some seriously awesome posts lately. I added an anime contributor, Hobie, and a comics contributor, Tabitha, and its been rad.
Our darling Jackie was up for Book of the Week this week but she’s been very busy taking care of her mom. Her mom has been pretty sick, in and out of the hospital and Jackie has been a rockstar daughter, taking care of her. Her mom is doing pretty well right now, after some surgery, so that’s great and I hope we all can send some good thoughts or prayers, if that’s your thing, or whatever her way :D
She definitely deserves them all.
So now for the Book of the Week.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
So this book was a book assigned to me for my children’s literature class.
I talk about that class a lot. It was a class I just randomly took for some units and its a class I ended up seriously loving it. A fantastic class. If your college/university has a children’s lit class, do it. You won’t regret. Especially if you’re reading my blog; you’re already half way there.
So Wonder was assigned to me for class. I went down to the bookstore and was shocked when I found out this book tops out at almost 17 dollars. That’s a lot for a book by someone I didn’t even know. So, me being the fast reader, decided to go Barnes and Noble and read the book in one sitting so I didn’t have to buy it.
Yeah that’s me, all right.
And guess what? I was totally asked to leave B&N for reading there. WHAT? It was crazy. They were like “you need to buy the book or leave?” Um, never mind the eight other people next to me reading books. I mean, its a bookstore, shouldn’t you be able to read there?
Anyway, so I ended up buying the book. I mean, I had to. I actually needed to read it for class. And let me tell you, it may not be the cheapest book you buy, but it was worth every single penny.
Wonder is R.J. Palacio’s debut novel and seriously, I don’t know how one follows that. It tells the story of August Pullman, known as Auggie, who has a face deformity. His eyes are basically on his cheeks, he doesn’t really have ears, and so on. He is constantly been in the hospital for surgeries. He has been home schooled his whole life and has pretty much gotten used to the weird looks that people give him.
But now Auggie is going to school for the first time, as a fifth grader, in middle school. Like middle school isn’t hard enough without having an extreme face deformity. The story goes from Auggie’s perspective to his sister Via’s and then a few other people that touch their lives. Obviously, Auggie has a hard time once he goes into school. His face deformity is not helping him to fit in and kids will be kids. Then you have his older sister, Via, who is used to taking care of herself and being a little neglected and how she deals with it.
The story follows the two of them as they embark on their first year at middle school and high school and how they deal with the changes in their lives and how they deal with each other, and their parents, and other hardships. It is a wonderful story.
The Good or the Bad:
I literally cannot think of anything bad about this story. It hit me like a wall, it sucked me in, just like a good book does.
It does not matter in the slightest that this book was meant for kids in the middle school age. Because the story is universal, its relatable. And its downright touching and sweet.
Now, I don’t have a face deformity. I’m lucky enough that I’ve been a fairly healthy child my whole life. But you better believe that I felt for Auggie and I rooted for him so heavily when he walked through the doors of that middle school. The kids just stare at him, and there’s a bully named Julian who just teases him and is so mean. And Auggie just…he’s so strong. Obviously he doesn’t like, obviously it upsets him but he deals with it, you know? He only loses it once, when his friend Jack talks about him behind his back.
Buts its fifth grade, you know? Of course Jack is trying so hard to fit in, and you say things sometimes that you don’t really mean. Auggie is able to get himself a couple of good friends in Jack and Summer because even though he has a face deformity, he is an awesome, awesome kid. He’s smart and he has good interests (Star Wars and The Hobbit…badass) and you just keep rooting for him.
And you root for his sister Via too? She’s starting high school, and I remember what that was like. It was not the easiest thing in the world. And it can’t be hard to have a brother who gets all of the attention because of his deformities and health and surgeries and such. She just wants more than anything to just be Via, not Auggie’s sister. Just Via.
Its an amazing story. It puts a lot of things in perspective. I have insecurities, you know? I don’t always look at myself in the mirror and love what I see. But I’m what is considered normal, you know? To have those kind of face deformities like Auggie and to carry on with the kind of strength that he has. He has the ability to move through school, and rock his grades and he can even joke a little bit about it. And you just finish that last page and this book knocks you off your feet.
I’m not going to give away a lot. I don’t think it would be right to do so. I believe everybody should read this book, and everyone should be able to experience this. I don’t care how old you are, if you have a well enough proficiency in reading (in other words, you’re not five and learning to read), you should read this book. No ifs, no ands, no buts. This is an amazing book. I encourage everyone to read it. EVERYONE.
The best part is, if you click the link above, it takes you to the amazon page as per usual and its only 9 dollars! What a bargain! So do it, you won’t regret it. I’m going to be pushing this book on people for years because it was amazing, an unexpected delight.