All parent member reviews for Wonder

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(out of 16 reviews)
age 10+
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Educator and Parent Written byChristy J December 13, 2013

Definitely worth it.

It is one of the most moving books I have read in a long time, and I am still pretty amazed at how the author wove so much complexity into a story for middle schoolers. It is the story of a boy with a genetic craniofacial deformity who has been homeschooled through fourth grade because of his frequent childhood surgeries. When the story begins his parents have decided they think he should go to school for the first time for fifth grade. The story covers his first year in school. It is told in first person, but the parts of the story are told (and in some cases retold) from several characters' viewpoints. The boy himself, his older sister, two of his friends from school, his sister's boyfriend, and his sister's friend take turns. Each narrator adds subtle new dimensions to the story. The theme of the book is that we can all choose kindness, and this theme is developed through amazingly honest and poignant portrayals of middle school and high school social dynamics and family dynamics. The author excels at showing not telling. It never feels preachy or overdone, or like an issue advocacy book. But the messages are there loud and clear: Being nice is not the same as being a friend, doing the right thing often costs you something but it's worth it, everyone has something to be grateful for, peer pressure makes you stupid, but it's never too late to change your course, we all need people who love us unconditionally. The book was convicting, laugh out loud funny, truthful, hopeful, and heart-warming. Because I know some people are have stricter standards than I have, here are all the things anyone might possibly want to be aware of before recommending it to a child: There are some gluteal-themed jokes revolving around the names of a teacher named Miss Butt and the principal Mr. Tushman. The word "sucks" is used a few times. A funny story involves the "farting nurse" who attended the main character's birth. A dog is put to sleep. One character briefly explains his views of reincarnation. It is mentioned that peripheral characters play Dungeons and Dragons at recess. There are repeated references to Star Wars characters and other popular culture items. Halloween is the main character's favorite holiday. Middle school students have crushes on each other and "go out" with each other. The fifteen-year-old sister has a boyfriend and it mentions him kissing her twice. There are two references (both by girls) to being flat-chested. A couple times girls are referred to as "hot." One character's father has been killed in the Iraq war. There is a brief mention of one character's divorced father getting married to his pregnant girlfriend, and another character's parents are divorced. There are a couple instances of copying homework and lying to teachers or parents with no repercussions. There are varying degrees of bullying depicted, some of which is pretty cruel. Overall, it had very positive portrayals of family, parents, authority figures, and young people. It was really thought-provoking and has so much fodder for fruitful discussion with upper elementary or middle school students. The book is so beautifully written that older students (and parents) can also really appreciate it too.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byJAH123 June 7, 2012

Not to be missed

This is a faboulous book. Our family read it together (9 and 11 year olds) based on the recommendations of local book store owner. Auggie's story is told from several points of view which is very enlightening. Take home messages included, you can count on your parents even if things get tough, sometimes people make mistakes and deserve second chances, sometimes you just have to suck it up and endure and most importantly, in general, things change over time - particularly in middle school so that even when things seem their darkest, a better day is coming. We were all sad to see this book end and gave it to each of their teachers on the last day of school.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bytobiragon May 14, 2012

love it

Great book about empathy and acceptance. Good summer reading for middle schoolers!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written bysixthgradefun March 25, 2013

From a middle school teacher

This book was a really refreshing read. It's up-to-date with popular references from the 2010s, and it has a way of drawing readers in so that each character is valued. The main character expresses his feelings--but the depth of the book comes from the perspectives of the other characters. The novel is written in a form where each chapter is by a different character, so the reader can examine the scenes from multiple viewpoints. The book has no foul language and minimal violence (some pushing), but it maintains positive role models throughout in the mother, the heartbreakingly honest sister, and a couple of kids at school. A must read--seriously!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written byread2advance August 22, 2012

Great first book Palacio!!!

My 12 year old and I read this book and loved it! The book is beautifully written and provides multiple kid's perspectives about a kid with a deformity. Very heartwarming! When we finished reading the book - my daughter immediately thought the book should be made into a movie.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bycsmrox July 8, 2015

My fav book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing book for kids 9 and up!!! RJ Palacio tells this story in different perspectives which makes it sooooo good!!! This is also like the book Out of my Mind.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 and 14 year old Written byPapipower01 November 16, 2014

Inspiring story your kids will enjoy

My daughter brought this book home from middle school as assigned reading and she absolutely fell in love with the book. As she gave me a quick synopsis of the story, I was intrigued and curious to know exactly what had been assigned - so I read the book as well. What an inspiring story. It is ver moving and really does a lot to expand a child's insight into and sensitivity about what it is like to be different somehow from the mainstream and yet somehow still be like everyone else inside.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5, 8, and 12 year old Written byEmily55555 November 21, 2015

Please read this book

I hope everyone on the planet reads this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byCOW MAN BRAH September 12, 2015

...

meh.... it was okay i guess not really
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byKZMom November 2, 2013

A book everyone should read

This was a really great story that engaged everyone in my family including my 5 and 8 year old daughters. It was really fun to read and a lighthearted treatment of a tough subject. My 8 year old took away the book to read on her own because we weren't reading fast enough for her and she was really excited about the story.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written bywcarmich March 20, 2016

Powerful story

This is a great story that tells the story of Auggie, a boy with some physical deformities whose parents decide to enroll him in a formal school setting. This novel provides a variety of viewpoints of various characters showing complex relationships and real struggles.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bylp200769@studen... October 3, 2015

Book Review

What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of an infant, 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 year old Written bysilverstream August 5, 2015

This is a really good book

I love this book! Though, although it does have some violent parts, it is still a really good book. As they say, don't judge a book by its cover, you cannot choose how the cover looks like. Only who does design it can judge. Sometimes I even read it to my five-year-old at night. He absolutely loves it. I love it. I think I even read it too often because I just love it. The book is awesome. Who wouldn't agree that it is awesome? Auggie ends up being popular, while Julian ends up not-so-popular. I won't be friends with jerks! I acknowledge that this book should be read from ages eight and up, but it is just my opinion. This book is popular.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byi2soppimath May 31, 2015

The Best

This book about August cabn make you cry sometimes and laugh at others
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bygino115 April 16, 2015

Great example for kids!!!!

I think that this book can teach kids a very valuble lesson and shows how priveliged we all are.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymamacology June 10, 2014

Wonderful book

This book focuses on being kind and decent and how ugly it looks when we are not.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages