When comparing myself to most people I would say that I'm a reader. I read several books a year for pleasure and many professional and picture books. When comparing myself to my friends on Twitter I'm barely a reader. So when people who literally read hundreds or thousands of books a year go on and on about a book I know it's a must read. That's what happened with Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

My library only had the audio recording so I emailed them about the book version and they put me first on the list. ( I know it's totally nerdy but how cool is it to be the first on the list).
Wonder is the story of a boy named Auggie who was born with a facial abnormality and he is getting ready to start school, 5th grade, for the first time. This book isn't about a disease but it's about kindness. It's about our reactions and how they are perceived by others. The story is told from several different points of view to get you inside many different minds. When the story was over I loved these characters. I wanted to meet them and tell them how much they had impacted me.
I don't know if Palacio knew when writing this book she was going to change people's lives, change the way they think and how they react to people. Because of this book I will forever think of Auggie when I see someone who is "different" in any way. I will think about my reaction and my words more carefully.
I wish I had read this book when I was in 5th grade. I wasn't mean to other kids but I surely didn't go out of my way to be friends with them. My adult self is disappointed in my younger self but I guess that's the beauty of learning. My 5th grade self probably wouldn't have been friends with Auggie and that's sad, I would have missed out on a great kid.
Every kid and adult should read this book...everyone. You'll learn a lot about yourself and about real kindness. Thank you R.J. Palacio for making me think.


  1. Thanks for letting me know about this book. I too have seen it on the Twitter feed with rave reviews. I will add it to my TBR list today.

  2. I have this book sitting on my bedside table and it's my next read. I'm almost afraid to start it because I know that once I start, I won't want to put it down. :) I know exactly what you mean when you compare yourself to your Twitter friends. That's how I feel too! Gotta love it!

  3. I totally get where you are coming from about being a reader! I love reading and do what I can, but when I have 50 books checked out from my library knowing full well that I won't get them read in 3 weeks . . . it's a problem. So, I've started a list of books to read and then read the big buzz books too! You are the third or fourth person to write about Wonder in the last couple days. I've got it on my Nook, but I'm consumed with writing/commenting. Guess I just need to get down to business and READ! Thanks Nicole!

  4. This book is on my list too I am sure I will connect to the lessons. Growing up with a sister with special needs and working as a special education teacher for 11 years I am sure I will connect. One caution as you precede with your new self and deeper perspective on differences. Remember it is about that the personality and person behind the disability. We are all people, good. bad or indifferent, abnormal or normal. In life I often find welling meaning people becoming prejudices FOR people with disabilities. This often results in enabling and unnecessary pampering. All people need to be motivated to be the best person they can be. We can do this by supporting their efforts and offering encouraging words. To do this we do need to see the person and not the disability. Some people see the disability and unknowingly handicap them more with their pampering and enabling.

    1. Deb,
      I completely agree with what you are saying. The whole theme of this story is to look past differences and see the person. I hesitate to say disability because Auggie (the main character) doesn't have a disability but a facial abnormality. The story is about Auggie and the other characters discover more about Auggie and themselves because of him. I'm sorry this didn't come through in my original post.

      Auggie is also keenly aware of the moment people notice him and the reactions they have, whether that reaction is conscious or not. Hs sensitivity really struck me and made me think about how I would react now and as a kid if I saw him in public.

      I also agree that we need to help everyone be the best person they can be.

  5. Nicole~
    I am reading Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper. I find myself routing Melody as she watches the relationships around her evolve as they too learn about the person behind the disability. We need more people to read books like these and live life by these life lessons.


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