At the suggestion of my sister Molly, I began reading the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio on Thursday night. I didn't know much about it other than I had to read it and had to read it immediately. As mentioned, I began reading on Thursday and I couldn't put it down. I finished it tonight while standing on the subway platform. And I was unable to control myself and had tears running down my cheeks as I read the final pages.
The first thing you should know about this book is that it was written for young adults and tweens. It's not meant for adults but I know of more adults reading this book right now, perhaps at my encouragement. The second thing you should know is that you will cry. Both the good kind of tears and the sad kind of tears. Don't do what I did by reading the last few pages without a tissue handy. You will need it. Lastly, make sure that you have chunks of time to read it because you won't want to put it down. You will be as anxious as I was to find out more.
I'm not going to share much about this book because I want you all to read it the same way I did. Full of wonder and excitement with each turn of the page. I will tell you that you will fall in love with 10 year old August, the main character of Wonder, and his friends and family. You can go to the author's website here and check out the book trailer. Below, I will share the description as written by R.J. Palacio:
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
I don't feel this way about many books but Wonder is the kind of book that I think everyone should read. Especially those of us who work with children; most especially those of us who work with children with special needs. Your eyes will be opened and your heart will want to burst. I couldn't help but think of so many of the children I have worked with over the last 10 years and wonder if they ever felt the way the August felt. I think parents of young adults and tweens should read this either with their child or at the same time. It can teach your child about empathy, putting yourself in other's shoes and learning about how so much can be accomplished with the simple act of kindness.
Be sure to check out your local bookstores for your own copy of Wonder. R.J. Palacio has written a gem of a story and I hope that this is just the first of many books we will be reading from her. I read mine on my iPad but will be going out tomorrow to The Community Bookstore in Park Slope to get my hard copy. I am already looking forward to reading this a second time because I feel like I rushed through in order to finish it!
I do hope that you all run out to purchase this book and would love to hear from all of you about your thoughts on this book if you choose to read it. I would love to hear about what your favorite part was or what lessons you learned from reading August's story. I am just a click away and hope to hear from some of you.