Book review: Wonder

Front CoverHere's a lovely little book, Wonder, by RJ Palagio, that I read recently.

Even though I write Young Adult fiction, I don't necessarily read a lot of it and I picked this one out of a selection offered to me by the school librarian when I agreed to workshop a book group with Year 6 kids next term. 

It's about a Year 5 boy with a severe facial disfigurement who begins 'real school' for the first time after being home schooled all his life.

Everywhere Auggie goes, he's a shock and a horror to people who see his face. It's hard for him, it's hard for his parents and it's hard for his sister.

Wonder follows Auggie through his first year at Middle School as he meets teachers and kids, tries to make friends, and looks for his place in the world. 

I loved the way it was written from several different points of view. My favourite was Via, or Olivia, his big sister who said straight up, "Auggie is the sun all our lives revolve around." She can cope with that, but sometimes every child needs to know that she is the most important, at least for a moment. Her struggle is to love her brother, but to live a life for herself as well.

Yes, I cried. It was a tear jerker, but not in a manipulative way. It was beautifully written, clever and wise. I'm going to enjoy the book group.