Book Review: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Book cover for Wonder by R. J. PalacioWonder by R. J. Palacio is a children’s book which I purchased when it was initially released. However with a to-be-read-pile so extensive I have only in the past month been able to pick this book up, and didn’t put it back down until the final page.


The protagonist in Wonder is August Pullman who is a 10 year old boy. August was born with a rare genetic disease. He has been sheltered by his family. Being home schooled, playing with his dog Daisy and loving his X-box were how he has spent his time – these were all safe havens. Then he goes to Middle school. Middle school is his first encounter with a world beyond the familiar walls and people of his home.

Multiple narrators in Wonder

Writing in multiple narratives is a difficult thing to execute. However these six different narrators are written perfectly. Palacio uses the multiple narrators to show how August is interpreted by others. Because as we all know our verbal reactions to people who shock us or even could disgust us isn’t necessarily a true reaction.

Entering the mind of five different characters that are affected by the way August looks is an honest and real interpretation of how children and even adults deal with the Augusts’ of the world. Each narrator has a purpose in this book and that is why this multiple narrator voice works in this book.

Favourite quotes from Wonder by R. J. Palacio

“There are always going to be jerks in the world, Auggie,” she said, looking at me. “But I really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other.”

“It’s okay, I know I’m weird-looking, take a look, I don’t bite. Hey, the truth is, if a wookie started going to school all of a sudden, I’d be curious, I’d probably stare a bit! And if I was walking with Jack or Summer, I’d probably whisper to them: Hey, there’s the wookie. And if the wookie caught me saying that, he’d know I wasn’t trying to be mean. I was just pointing out the fact that he’s a wookie.”

“Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”

“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”

I honestly cannot flaw this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters and their narration was perfect, the plot was simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking. Reading this book open my mind and made me re-assess the way I may treat people like August. I would recommend this book to adults despite it being a children’s book. There are many lessons to be learnt from August Pullman.

Have you read this book?