If you're doing some holiday shopping for a young adult or anyone who enjoys a simply good read, consider picking up this week's recommended read, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, from Katherine Farmer, Coordinator of the Racers Children's Preview Collection at Murray State University. Also, hear a follow-up review from WKMS Youth Radio Project's Brynn Jones.
We have all been there. Encountered a person with a physical disfiguration or disability that you can't help but turn away. Witnessed the bullies that can't help teasting those who are different.
R.J. Palacio addresses these issues and more in her moving debut novel Wonder.
The main character, August Pullman - otherwise known as Auggie, wishes that he was ordinary on the outside as he believes he is on the inside. Halloween is his favorite time of year because it gives everyone a chance to know someone for what is on the inside instead of the outside. These beliefs stem from the fact that he was born with several genetic abnormalities that caused him to have facial disfiguration that one cannot help but notice. His life is further complicated at the age of ten, when Auggie's parents decide after years of homeschooling to send Auggie to regular school. At school, he encounters the trials of being bullied and finds a real kindness among his family and friends that helps him overcome whatever he encounters.
The novel Wonder with humor and grace follows Auggie through that first year of regular school at first through his eyes and then through the eyes of his sister and others he develops relationships with throughout that year.
To discover more about Auggie and the true wonder that he is, read Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
Katherine Farmer is the Coordinator of the Racers Children's Preview Collection at Murray State University. Brynn Jones is part of the WKMS Youth Radio Project. Special thanks to her dad, Rusty Jones, for recording her review.