A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our First Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Here it is! Our very first book review, and honestly, I (Stefanie) knew immediately which book I'd want to review. A book like R.J. Palacio's Wonder just begs for parents and educators to snatch it up for their tweens and teens, but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Pages: 313
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
ISBN: 9780375869020
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
AR Levels: Interest Level: 4th-8th, Book Level: 4.8, Points: 11.0 

In a Nutshell: Auggie Pullman is just your normal fifth grader in every way...just not from the look of him. Auggie was born with a facial deformity, and up until now, he's been homeschooled. But now that he's entering middle school, his parents have decided he needs to go to regular school...because middle school is such an open, welcoming, and peaceful world, right? Wrong! Auggie is faced with the difficulty of not only adjusting to the trials of middle school but with trying to make his classmates see the boy behind the face for who he really is. Told in multiple alternating perspectives of his friends and family and Auggie himself, this book gives a fresh and, at times, funny take on bullying, friendship, and self awareness.

I'd Recommend It for Grades: 5-12+

I'd Recommend It To: Anyone who's ever felt misunderstood or left out or had (or is having!) a really rough time in middle school...which, I'm assuming, is anyone over the age of 10

What I Liked Most about This Book: What didn't I love about this book? I don't want you to get the wrong first impression and think that I always love everything I read, but this is seriously the best children's book I've read this year, the best bullying book I've ever read, and one of the most funny, gut-wrenching, and heartwarming books I've read in a long time. The best part is the character development. The characters feel completely real, and you feel completely sympathetic toward them. You'll find yourself cheering, crying, and laughing right along with them. The biggest compliments I can think to give it are that it has Newbery written all over it and that when you read it, it feels like John Green for younger kids. I adored it. 

Single Favorite Moment (without getting spoiler-y): Okay, I can't pick a single moment, but the sections narrated by Auggie's sister are my favorite. Her dilemma of growing up loving her brother and willing to do anything to protect him yet wanting some attention for herself as well is raw and honest and amazing. While Auggie's entering middle school, she's entering high school and having struggles of her own, and it brings a whole new dynamic to the plot.  

Star Rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): Wow. I would give this 10 stars if I could, but since I can't break my own rules, I'll give it a 5. :) Perfect little book. Just perfect.


  1. Think I am going to love this blog Stefie :) I also think you should include the Grade Reading Level (5.3, 2.7, etc.) That would help us educators.

  2. Thanks, Court! Which reading level system would be best to use? The one I use most is Accelerated Reader, but is that still pretty relevant, or should we use something else? Great suggestion!