Wonder, by R. J. Palacio; Illustrated by Tad Carpenter

Just occasionally you read a book that you can’t put down. I have to be honest, although I love children’s books I rarely find one so absorbing I read it in 2 sittings, but Wonder by R J Palacio was one such book.

If you haven’t yet come across it, this is a book about a boy with a rare genetic condition that means his face is disfigured. The entire book is about him starting secondary school and the emotional, mental and physical obstacles he faces. It’s about love, tolerance, disability, bullying, education, and personal strength.

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Maybe I found the book even more powerful because my own daughter has started secondary school recently and so school child interactions are on my mind at this moment. Perhaps the overwhelming theme of kindness hit all sorts of chords with me. It could be simply that it’s well written with loveable (and dislike-able) characters. Whatever, wonder is…well, wonderful.

You can’t help but question whether you or your children would react to a child like August in a kind and positive way or whether our lack of understanding and even fear would overwhelm us. God knows school days can be cruel.

I’ll be honest and say I cried (I know, not again) but more than that, this book has had a strong emotional impact on me. I want everyone to read it.

On the front cover is a sticker saying “read Wonder before you see the film”. I won’t be watching the film at all because I have a strong feeling it really isn’t necessary.

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