Monday, October 7, 2013

7: Middle-Grade Monday - Wonder

Some Middle Grade books are definitely written especially for that age group, but others transcend the genre and are wonderful reads for any age.  Wonder is one of those special novels that rises above its classification and has the ability to change your perspective of the people around you.

We meet Auggie Pullman, a sixth grader with a severe facial deformity, just before he enters public school for the first time.   I'll admit that, as an overly emphatic reader, sometimes I am a wimp when it comes to book content.  I am selective about what I read because if it's too traumatic, it'll haunt forever.  I had some apprehension about Wonder .   My friend Amy assured me that I could handle it.  She was right.  If you've been apprehensive -- I want to pass along the same encouragement:  it's not too much.  The story is told with a delicate balance of honesty, humanity and grace.  And plenty of redemption.

The story opens in first person, with Auggie as the narrator.  Palacio surprised me a few chapters in, though, when the narrative shifted to his sister Via's point of view.  At first I wasn't sure how I felt about the switch, but soon decided that Via offered thoughtful insight to the wider world of August Pullman. The point of view eventually shifts to several different people in Auggie's realm, each adding another layer of understanding and complexity to the story.  I began to look forward to each pov change, because each person impacted me in a new way.

Wonder is a tender empathy-builder, exposing the ugliness that seeps out of even the most well-intentioned.  I love that even his parents and sister struggle, but always come back to love.  While it was not a page-turner, (I read this one very slowly actually), it challenged me to love more and love better.  I look forward to reading it with my boys one day.

If you still need convincing, watch this trailer:

"You can't exactly blend in when you were born to stand out."


In somewhat related news, I would like to offer congratulations to
Kimberly Koskos, author of Don't Call Me a Tattletale!
for her recent national book award --
2013 Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award,
Category: Emotions & Feelings.
I had the honor of illustrating this children's book
about the importance of reporting bullying.
I love working on meaningful projects.

You can purchase Don't Call Me a Tattletale {here}

Click the image below to read Day 8:
True Love Tuesday - Eleanor & Park

Click the image below to read 
the series from the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I've wondered about this book.


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