R.J. Palacio’s Wonder

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, is the moving and uplifting tale of August Pullman, a boy born with a facial deformity. (Martin Chilton, Digital Culture Editor)

I think this book is a little more than that. Wonder is about, a twelve-year-old, who has Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare craniofacial abnormality. Due to this deformity, he undergoes 27 surgeries, and that is why he is homeschooled till fourth-grade. But his mom thinks that it is time to go to school because now he is “a big kid.” He stubbornly accepts and that is when the story actually begins.

Throughout fifth grade, Auggie meets a few rare children who look past his face and touch his soul. Auggie is truly a good-natured, beautiful, kind boy, and that is how he makes true best-friends. But, unfortunately, he encounters one delinquent, named Julian, who bullies and makes fun of Auggie all the time. Successfully, Auggie defeats the bully with his big heart.

At the end of the book, their principal, Mr. Tushman, begins to talk about how someone in this room has accomplished something great. The principal then reveals that he is really talking about August Pullman, and August walks up to the stage and to receive his award. August notices that his mom is hanging back from the crowd. He asks his mother what is wrong, and she then ends the fruitful book by saying, “You are a wonder.”

This book has a way of expressing such complex feelings with ease, using Auggie and his situation. Throughout the book, you understand what Auggie is going through and connect with him magically. It will be one of those novels that will be read for generations coming, because of the raw truth displayed indeterminately by RJ Palacio.

I think, what this novel taught me was that never judge anyone by his appearance. Sounds keenly familiar to “Never judge a book by its cover!’ Continuing on, Auggie is judged by his face and that is why he doesn’t have too many friends, but honestly, he is a good, down-to-Earth sort of kid, who sticks to you till the end and makes you laugh and cry. Undoubtedly, there are some heroes who portray admirable traits, such as looking past one’s appearance, which is exactly what they do. RJ Palacio uses these characters to teach the reader lessons and make us understand that image is nothing but personality is everything. I would like to end with a quote from the book that inspired me and taught me a lot:

Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.


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