Wonder by R J Palacio is one of our book group favorites for 2018

WONDER


I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy,

more …

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder

Choose Kind is an anti-bullying campaign that was inspired by Wonder, in which children and adults make pledges to everyday random acts of kindness.

less …
  • Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • February 2012
  • 320 Pages
  • 9780375869020

Buy the Book

$15.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About R J Palacio

R.J. Palacio is a graphic designer by day and a writer by night. She lives in New York City with her husband, two sons, and a black dog named Bear. Wonder is her first novel.

Praise

Wonder is essentially … a wonder. It’s well-written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, Wonder touches the heart in the most life-affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it.”Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“In a wonder of a debut, Palacio has written a crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.”Entertainment Weekly, “The Top 10 Things We Love This Week

“Rich and memorable…It’s Auggie and the rest of the children who are the real heart of ‘Wonder,’ and Palacio captures the voices of girls and boys, fifth graders and teenagers, with equal skill.”The New York Times

“What makes R.J. Palacio’s debut novel so remarkable, and so lovely, is the uncommon generosity with which she tells Auggie’s story…The result is a beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.”The Wall Street Journal

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss Auggie’s relationship with each of his family members. How does Via react to Auggie’s deformity? How is Via’s life affected by Auggie’s deformity? She says, “I’m always going to be the sister of a kid with a birth defect; that’s not the issue. I just don’t always want to be defined that way.” (p. 91) What does Via mean by this statement?

2. How could her parents help Via’s life be more normal even though Auggie’s isn’t? What sacrifices does Via have to make in her relationship with her parents?

3. What qualities do Auggie’s parents possess that help them to be good parents to Auggie? How do respect and trust play a role in their family dynamics?

4. How does Auggie’s ability to be comfortable in his own skin make it easier for his friends and family to relate to him?

5. Auggie’s attendance at Beecher Prep creates issues for students, parents, teachers, and the principal. What are some of the challenges that arise? How does each group of individuals overcome the challenges? What role does Auggie play in either helping or hurting the situation?

6. How does Auggie know the first time he meets Julian that he will be a bully? In what subtle ways does Julian bully Auggie? What power does Julian have to force the other students to join in his cruelty toward Auggie and Jack?

7. What prompts the seventh graders to attack and bully Auggie? In general, what is Auggie’s response to the bullying?

8. Given their friendship, why does Jack betray Auggie by talking badly behind his back? How does Auggie feel when he hears what Jack has said?

9. How do Miranda and Ella betray Via? What is Via’s response? How do Via and Auggie resolve their individual conflicts and cope with the pain of betrayal?

10. In Mr. Tushman’s speech at the end of the year, he shares this quote, “Always try to be a little kinder than necessary.” What is the relationship between kindness and overcoming challenges?