We judge people. We might not like to admit it, but we do. It’s a part of life, I suppose – but sometimes I wish it wasn’t. We even judge ourselves. This part we might like to admit even less. See the model in that magazine? I don’t look like her. Why am I not good enough? Then we respond by changing ourselves to fit into a nonexistent mold – but one that becomes very real in the back of our minds if we think about it long enough. Sometimes we can use our judgments to better ourselves – maybe giving up negativity or being kinder to others. Though I’m not proud of it, this entire judgment cycle is something very much at my core and it became more apparent to me after reading R.J. Palacio’s, Wonder.

August, or “Auggie,” is a ten-year-old boy who has an obsession with Star Wars, loves his dog, and is interested in the same things as every other ten-year-old. But Auggie has a terrible facial abnormality. His ears aren’t in the right place, nor are his eyes, and one can barely tell if he is smiling or not. His parents have decided after years of homeschooling that it’s time for Auggie to attend a real school. The story that unfolds then after is one that will not easily be forgotten. Told from various viewpoints, this “wonder”ful story seems geared towards middle school students and their parents, but also one that young adults will appreciate for its grace and acceptance in the midst of a judgmental (self or otherwise) world. We must at least try to stop being so selfish, love ourselves for who we are, and embrace others for who they are too. Wonder is a good reminder.

Gary gives it three paws.

 

Awards:

#1 New York Times bestseller

A School Library Journal Best of Children’s Books 2012

A Publishers Weekly Best of Children’s Books 2012

A Kirkus Reviews Best of Children’s Books 2012

A Booklist Best of Children’s Books 2012

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