Little Book,  Middle grade


R.J. Palacio
wonder“My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”
Wonder is probably the most thought-provoking book I’ve read in a long while. It makes you feel angry about the injustice of the world. August feels ordinary, He does ordinary things, he has an Xbox and a dog and he eats ice-cream and rides his bike like an ordinary boy. The problem is he doesn’t look ordinary. How can you blend in when kids run away screaming from you in the playground? How can life be easy when you were born to stand out? August’s parents both had the same gene; he had a 1 in 50,000 chance but I guess he was unlucky, because he has treacher Collins Syndrome.

Definition-. “Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), also known as Treacher Collins–Franceschetti syndrome, or mandibulofacial dysostosis is a rare autosomal dominant congenital disorder characterized by craniofacial deformities, such as absent cheekbones. Treacher Collins syndrome is found in about 1 in 50,000 births. The typical physical features include downward slanting eyes, micrognathia (a small lower jaw), conductive hearing loss, underdeveloped zygoma, drooping part of the lateral lower eyelids and malformed or absent ears” (Wikipedia, 2014)
These are the normal symptoms and there is nothing else apart from your facial features that are affected by the syndrome. So you feel completely normal but look far from it. You want to know the worst part? There isn’t anything he can do about it.
He’s never been to school and his parents want him to go, although they’re really not sure themselves. How will everyone react? It’s hard starting a new school but how hard would it be with a face that gives people nightmares? When he starts, it turns out OK, he knows people stare and point at him when he walks past and whisper about him behind his back. He does, however, quickly make friends with a girl called Summer and a boy called Jack Will. There is still one person who can’t get over it and he is really horrible to August. This book tells of all the hardships of life when people only look on the outside…
I really liked the book. But it was really sad. I like the fact that it was written bylots of different people’s point of view. I think it is not suitable for younger readers because it’s a very difficult topic and very hard to get your head around. And also, I suggest you read it with a box of tissues nearby as it is quite hard to read for the emotional reader (AKA me, I found myself with tears in my eyes in more than 1 point…)
Verdict: Overall I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good read and to have their thinking challenged about how we judge people.
Reviewed by Daisy (12)

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 215
Genre: Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Daisy (12)
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None

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