Friday, February 8, 2013

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Snow Storm Nemo is raging outside our house right now, so I wanted to share a book that I just loved that might help you get through whatever weather you're having! 

Read while home alone? yes
Tissues needed? yes
Overall rating: 5 stars

Middle school is tough. Especially if you’ve been homeschooled until then. Especially if you were born with a craniofacial abnormality. This is August Pullman’s life. He’s used to the stares and startled responses—he doesn’t like them, but he’s used to them. To ease the transition into school, the principal selected a “welcoming committee” to help August adjust to his new school, but what happens when the welcoming committee isn’t welcoming?

You should really read this book…it’s fantastic! The story is told from a variety of perspectives, including August, some classmates, and his sister. I love that writing technique—it gives a fuller picture of the story. There’s plenty of compassion, but there’s also some cruel reality, and it was good to read both. As I read about students’ reactions to August I wondered about how I would have acted as a middle schooler in that situation. There was little diversity (ability, race, economic, etc.) in my middle school, so I’d like to think I would have been one of the kind people, but I’m not sure—middle school is a weird time of life. It did give me goals for my little guy, though—I want to be sure he’s the boy who’s kind to everyone.

Wonder is considered Juvenile Fiction; it’s Palacio’s first book, but I’m hoping for more!

What’s the latest book you’ve read and loved? 


  1. Sounds interesting but it might end up terrifying me. We plan to put the kids in school if we ever end up somewhere near a decent school and the homeschooling to school trauma might not be good for me to read. I've already said that we would have to make that transition before middle school because you are so right - middle school is hard.

  2. Since you have a few years before middle school, I think you could enjoy Wonder. Besides, you'll give your girls such great support whenever they make the transition from homeschool, they'll be more than fine! :)

  3. This book sounds like something I might enjoy. I made the homeschool to public school transition halfway through second grade, and it definitely took some getting used to!

    1. I'm sure it was an adjustment! I wonder if it was easier at a younger age or if it's just tricky whenever you make a transition like that? And any tougher to go from homeschool to public school than to move from any school to another? My experience is that change can be hard!

  4. Thanks for the book recommendation, Lynda. Middle school is pretty tough, and I love the idea of teaching our kids to grow up to be kind, and not the kind that would bully.

    1. I agree, Nina--kindness is such an important lifeskill...and a tough one to teach and measure. With help from blogs like yours, I'm trying to instill that quality in my little guy! Thanks for your help! :)