I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard or cried so much as in the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio. That’s saying something; I am one of the editors of the poetry section of the online journal Route 7 Review, which features the creativity of worldwide authors and artists. And Wonder is a stunning work of art. It is beautifully woven with introspect and paradigm-shifting opportunities. Palacio masterfully creates a soothing undertone of love and acceptance in a cruel world, while at the same time maintaining a lighthearted, hilarious overtone that digs at the very human essence. Palacio carefully crafts the perfect tones and perspectives for each character she delves into, creating a quick-paced, engaging read.
Wonder discusses the topics of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance as it plunges headfirst into the world of August, a 5th grader going to public school for the first time. With 27 surgeries to his name and a severe facial deformity, August is highly aware that he attracts unwanted attention. Needless to say, he is terrified to become a public display as he starts school. The book not only follows August through the school year, through the ups and downs and fears and successes, but Palacio also cleverly weaves in the voices of the surrounding characters, adding a deeper level of interest to the novel.
As August’s story unfolds, it is impossible not to love the marvelous characters pushing and pulling against each other. Palacio’s beautiful writing delves into the far reaches of the soul to expose the hidden pieces. There is probably nothing more accurate to say than that Wonder is simply wonderful.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Reviewer bio: I am a Senior at Dixie State University and am an editor for the poetry section of DSU’s online journal, Route 7 Review. Submissions are open now until November 6.
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