Sunday, 13 July 2014
Wonder - R. J. Palacio
Author: R. J. Palacio
Publication date: February 2012
Books like this don't usually catch my attention, so when this one did I don't know what I expected.
Firstly, I knew it wasn't aimed at my age range, but this did not hinder the impact this book had on me. It was thoughtful and thought provoking; it made me question the way that maybe I had viewed difference in the past. It's wonderfully written, with just enough humour and liveliness to make it perfect for younger readers.
It deals with issues that perhaps some may shy away from, but it does it in such away that emphasises the idea that these issues aren't 'taboo' - they need to be talked about. It encourages the reader to embrace difference and be understanding, because in the end difference is normal.
The focus of the novel was August, who is astoundingly mature for his age - though don't get me wrong we still understand that he's a child. He's remarkably good-natured and tells numerous jokes about himself. His situation is tough and Middle School is definitely hard, but how he overcomes this and the glorious way he brings out the best in the people around him make me love this character.
It's not just told from his perspective though, and I really felt like we got to know every character in this book, from August's friends Jack and Summer to his sister Olivia and her boyfriend. But also the adults; I kind of loved Mr. Tushman.
He's surrounded by a caring, and slightly overbearing, family, including his sister Olivia. I couldn't dislike her as a character, she has had to deal with a lot. She knows and understands her situation in school isn't necessarily as difficult as Augusts, but she still has to deal her own problems, as well as feeling like her mum doesn't care for her as much as August.
This story isn't just about August's face, it's also about children and young adults having to deal with growing up: school, friends, and family. It's a wonderful book written by someone who put a lot of care into representing the under represented in novels and life. I enjoyed it very much.