Monday, May 21, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Wonder

The winner of my copy of How to Steal a Dog is:
Woohoo! Email your mailing address to barbarawatson94 (at) gmail (dot) com
and I'll get this great book to you.

Now for today's feature . . .

Some books sit with you long after you've finished reading them, and not just because the book was well-written, had awesome characters, or a super interesting plot but because there was something about the book that planted itself right inside your heart. For me, Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of those books. Since I read it aloud with my two kids and they said things like, "Don't stop!" or "Keep reading!" each time I reached for my bookmark, I would say they feel the same about Wonder as I do.

The premise: August Pullman isn't like other boys on the outside, but on the inside he's exactly like other boys, and all he wants is to be looked at for what's inside of him rather than be known for the outside of him. But when what's different about Auggie is his face, that is difficult. Maybe impossible. But he tries anyway.

What keeps readers reading: Hope that the good in humankind will win out over the bad. Told in multiple perspectives, we see life through Auggie's eyes as well as through a host of people who know him, and no matter the perspective, the reader cheers for those who can see past August on the outside and befriend and love him because of who he is on the inside. The beginning of the book is Auggie's fifth grade year, and he enters a traditional school setting for the first time, testing the 'what's inside of you?' for everyone.

What I loved: Oh . . . everything. Seriously. The story is entertaining and fun, even laugh out loud humorous, while at the same time poignant, sad, and beautiful. The characters are real and rounded, both the good ones and the bad ones. The story is realistic and dives to places within ourselves that are hard to go. It's all that and written in such a way that the youngest kid to the oldest adult will find the story simply un-put-downable.

For more middle grade recommendations, visit my Middle Grade Monday tab
Happy middle grade reading! 
 

12 comments:

  1. I've seen this book around and am totally intrigued by the cover. The premise is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. ;D

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  2. Awesome that your kids liked it as much as you. I've heard great things about this. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  3. I keep hearing good things about this book! I'm going to have to read it.

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  4. I won?! Halleluia! (Emailing address shortly) And thanks for the giveaway.

    So many people have said so many things about WONDER. I need to get my hands on it and read it. (Now, if I weren't so into the ultra-long A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE series...)

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  5. This one sounds really good. I like a story with a little depth to it. The cover art doesn't do much for me though.

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  6. That's pretty high praise! Sounds good... :D

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  7. Barbara, I have this book, and I must go back and pick up where I left off. I lost interest when the POV changed. But every review I see tells me that I'm missing out by not finishing. I was totally into August's POV, so it was hard for me to keep reading when it switched. But I know that I must go back because everyone keeps raving over the book...so I know I'm missing out on something "wonder"ful. :)

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    1. I totally see your point, Linda. When I started the book, I didn't know it was multiple POVs and was shocked, like jaw-dropping shocked, the first time it switched out of Auggie's POV (about 80 pages in). My kids didn't care one bit, we read on, and I began to see how the multiple POVs added a depth that single POV could not have given the story.

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  8. A truly wonderful read - I'm so glad you and your kids enjoyed it! I definitely laughed, and definitely cried - and overall loved it to pieces :)

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  9. I've heard so many good things about this book. Thanks for reminding me to add it to my to read list. I have a lot of reading to do this summer! :)

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  10. This is the first time I'm hearing about this book. It sounds amazing! Off to add Wonder to my To-Read list....

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  11. First I've heard of this. I love books that teach kids to value the inside instead of judging based on the outside!

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Comments. Yay! They're almost as good as chocolate. Almost.