Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Published by Knopf Books on 14th February 2012
Genres: Young Adult, childrens
Source: Sony Reader Store
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My rating: 4/5
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Auggie and his first year at middle school. August has a severe facial deformity, but has reached the age where his parents feel he needs to go to a mainstream school as they can't protect him from the cruelty of the world forever.
This is a lovely book about human empathy, strength of character and friendship. I loved it. Some parts broke my heart, other parts filled me with joy and admiration.
It is told from a number of characters perspective and I found the narrative of his sister particularly thought provoking. It's easy to forget about the suffering a sibling goes through when, understandably, the attention is often focused on the child with the terminal illness or life changing syndrome.
The reason I marked it down ever so slightly? Because I don't think Palacio quite got the age of the characters right. Age wise it makes perfect sense for August to be just starting school due to his circumstances - I think he is ten? 5th Grade? Never got my head around American school years. Anyway, the way the children behave and speak is like no children I've ever met. Children I taught, age 16, didn't speak the way these kids did. Just very mature for their age, which is the exception in schools, not the rule!
I know this book is aimed at young people. But it is very happy ever after and I just don't buy that. Kids are not that nice. August has an incredibly tough time ahead of him. People will be mean to him for the rest of his life. I'd love to read about August when he's a young man dealing with the same problems. I think he'd cope well. He's one tough cookie.
But I suppose, for the age group this book is aimed at, it needs a happy ending?
Sony Reader Store kindly sent me a voucher to try out their reader on my tablet. I have only ever read e-books on my Kindle and I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get along with the bright, shiny screen. But it was actually great to read on. I liked the page turning feature and the fact that it used proper page numbers. Prices are comparable with the Kindle. The reader is available on Android, iPhone and iPad.
Love Jenny x
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