Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I finished the wonderful book Wonder last night. It took me a while to work up the courage to read it in the first place. I worried that the subject - a boy with facial anomalies - would be too disturbing. Now I think it should be required reading of all pre-teens and teens, mine included, as well as their parents and their teachers. The author, R.J. Palacio, has called it a "meditation on kindness," and certainly we all need more of that.

The story is told first from the perspective of 10-year-old August Pullman, who up until 5th grade is homeschooled. Later, when August starts "real school," his friends, his sister Olivia, and Olivia's boyfriend Justin tell their side of the story.

At one point, Justin is mulling over someone's comment that the universe was not kind to August. "What did that little kid ever do to deserve his sentence? What did the parents do? Or Olivia?" But then he thinks about it more: "No, no it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. And the universe doesn't. It takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see. Like with parents who adore you blindly. And a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you.... And even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. Maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. The universe takes care of all its birds."

I agree (and I think you'll love this book, middle-schooler or not).


  1. Thanks for sharing your book review...always helpful to know what other's recommend.


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