R.J. Palacio Wonder

Last updated: July 29, 2023

R.J. Palacio really hits it out of the park with “Wonder." This book gives readers a serious story with such light-hearted surroundings. There is truly no other fiction book like it. You will want to read it over and over again.

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Product Details

In our analysis of 99 expert reviews, the R.J. Palacio Wonder placed 3rd when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Wonder is a rare gem of a novel–beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Homeschooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience–something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” From The Little Prince and R.J. Palacio’s remarkable novel, Wonder.–Seira Wilson

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

This book is bold, funny and engaging. If someone had told me about the topic of this book before I read it, I think I would have mostly chosen to read it because I did not want to walk away from the sad truths and I owed it to people who have similar problems to August
It‘s the straightforward, non-sentimental manner in which Palacio approaches her topic that makes this such an excellent book.
Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community.
But most of all, I was majorly impressed by the lack of schmaltz, the decidedly UNfantastical ending - and the heart-wrangling reality of the entire sordid business of living a life sans perfection. You'll laugh, cry and cheer your way through this beautifully-balanced older junior fiction novel. One of my favourites - ever.
One of the things I love most about this book is the way it is set out in parts. Those parts are written by six different characters. They all have varied perspectives on events.
What I love most about the book is the realness of it all. Mr. Tushman, the long-winded school Director, and Mr. Browne English teacher trying hard to instill kindness in a bunch of ten-year old’s.
Wonder remains an engaging, enjoyable book. R.J. Palacio’s ten-year-old voices are consistently believable, as are those of her slightly older narrators. The journey of the narrative is satisfying; every major character learns something important about themselves and the world they inhabit.
Despite his first-sentence assertion, “I know I’m not an ordinary 10-year-old kid,” August Pullman is just that. He’s a gloriously, spectacularly, and reassuringly ordinary 10-year-old kid.
There are no flat characters here. Palacio changes points of view every few chapters, giving the reader a chance to hear the voice and viewpoints of different characters in the story.

What reviewers didn't like

However, some of the other viewpoints—especially of Via’s friends—feel somewhat unnecessary and bog down the middle of the book.
Besides August’s condition, Wonder is a very beige, cisheteronormative, upper-middle-class and surprisingly abled book. This seems like a missed opportunity, especially as August is the only visible disfigured/disabled character in the book – which, to me, is sad.
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