Thursday, 21 April 2016

Wonder - R J Palacio

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August (Auggie) is a child with a facial disfigurement.  He will tell you about that at the beginning of the book but he won't actually describe himself.  What he will do is to tell you about his family, his dog, and his first year at school following his homeschooling regime by his mother.

Other people will tell you about their connection with Auggie too - his sister and people at school have voices in this book too - and you'll get a background.  As you go forward you will also find out what exactly is wrong with Auggie's face, the medical term for it, how rare it is, and how he deals with it and how other people deal with him.

This is a fiction, and if you change things round just a little, it is the story of how a "different" child copes with life in the real world.  Insert the "different" you want, i.e. Aspurgers, other religion, different language, other colour........ No, it isn't a preachy kind of book, it's just a book about a child who has learnt to live with his difference, and how others  have to learn how to do that. 

It's aimed at the YA market, but I think any good reader from around 10 years up could read this.  I am an adult who happens to like YA reads, and I thought this a clever approach to a difficult subject, and (very important this) a great book to read.  I ploughed through it wanting him to find good friends at school, wanting him to be accepted, wanting what everyone should have - a normal life.