“Now that I look back, I don’t know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”
Wonder is a book I have been wanting to read since I saw a trailer for the movie coming out, way back when. I still haven’t seen the movie because, like the good stuck-up reader snob I am, I had to read the book first.
Wonder is about a kid, August, who was born with a craniofacial condition that makes this otherwise ordinary 10-year old anything but ‘normal’ looking. As he says in the book (and the blurb) “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse”. The book starts as Auggie is starting his first foray in to school life, after being home-schooled by his mum for 5-odd years.
I started with the quote I did, because the further you get in to the book the more you realise that, despite the obvious, a lot of the problems Auggie faces are ones that any middle-school kid can run in to at some point or another. You almost start to forget about his ‘craniofacial abnormality’ at times, which I think is a testament to the kids in the book who start being able to do the same thing despite actually being able to see Auggie’s face (unlike us readers!)
Overall, the book is a brilliant display of the ups and downs of middle school life, shown through a number of people’s eyes including August’s friends and sister, among others. It’s a completely relatable read (my buzzword because I love reading a book and feeling like I totally understand how and why the characters react to things or think the way they do), and left me in tears at the end. Because let’s face it, what good book doesn’t? *I’m a crier*
The kids August befriends are the sweetest kids, and even though they don’t always get things right (what 10 year old does??), their big-hearted nature shines through and it’s just such an uplifting story. Even the adults are lovable (for the most part), especially Auggie’s parents and headmaster.
Rating: Definitely recommended if you’re in the mood for a quick read to lift your spirits.
I will end with part of Mr Tushman’s speech in the Year 5 graduation, because I think it’s something all of us can do with reminding of sometimes: “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
Get out there and be propelled to greatness this week, readers ♥