Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I have been subbing at Oak Springs Alternative School in Provo this past week, and during the student's downtime today, I finally finished Insurgent by Veronica Roth (another very good read but totally different genre...Hunger Games' status). The students still had lots of silent work left, so I needed a new book. I looked around the classroom and came across Wonder. I had seen it on the shelf in bookstores before but never bothered to pick it up. This time I picked it up and am SO grateful I did. At the end of today, I am halfway through it and absolutely in love. Such an endearing, funny, uplifting, and incredibly moving story about a boy who's never been in mainstream school before just going into fifth grade at Beecher Prep. A coming of age book for kids just trying to navigate their way through middle school and figure out who they are. Do you remember those days? If so, you might ask what's so endearing about a boy starting middle school? Haha, you might actually even cringe at the thought of such a book. Well this particular fifth grade boy, August (fondly known as "Auggie") has severe facial deformities. Classmates stare. Whisper. Avoid him. No one wants to be his friend, let alone be touched by him. If you're touched by him you have 30 seconds to wash your hands or squirt some hand-sanny before you catch "The Plague"...a.k.a. the disease you will be infected with if touched by August...a.k.a. Rat Boy, Freak, Monster, Freddy Krueger, E.T., Lizard Face, or Mutant. Horrible right? In Auggie's mind, all the students in his grade are in on this and view him this way, except for a select few. One of which is Summer. A very pretty girl...on the outside and inside. Her good heart and loyalty are inspiring.
I don't want to give too much away, but the characters in this book are so inspiring and real, it's incredible. I'm still only halfway through though, so we'll see how it finishes up, but if it's anything like the first half, I can't wait to read the rest!
I love all different genres of books and need to mix it up to keep things interesting, but every once in a while, I come across a book that really hits home for me...and this book did just that! I love those books. Wonder has been that book for me.
Everyone has such different tastes in books, so I can't promise you'll love it...but I definitely put my stamp of approval on Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It is one of the best books I have ever read.
So today...I am grateful for good books. Grateful for the inspiring people who write them. Grateful to be uplifted by touching stories they have to share. Grateful to be reminded of what's important.