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Ye gods, what a wonderful book I don t read a lot of realistic middle grade fiction I tend to gravitate toward fantasy But this is probably the best such book I ve read since Sherman Alexie s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.The main character August Auggie Pullman is a ten year old boy with severe facial abnormalities Little kids scream when they see him Older kids make fun of him and call him a freak Auggie is home schooled through grade four, but for middle school his parents decide to send him to a private school, Beecher Prep, in New York City Wonder is the story of his fifth grade year, told partly from Auggie s perspective, and partly from the other kids in his life his sister Via, her oldest friend Miranda, Via s boyfriend Justin, and Jack and Summer, Auggie s new friends at Beecher Prep Each narrator has a distinct, completely believable voice Palacio writes with just the right balance of humor and pathos, making each character both flawed and sympathetic She gets kids how they think, how they talk, how they have the capacity to be both horribly mean and incredibly brave and kind I recognize these characters from my years of teaching middle school, and I m sure young readers will recognize them too The book rings with authenticity The short chapters and shifting narrative make this a quick, easy read It s a feel good book with a great message, and the ending is a tearjerker in the best possible way I d recommend it without hesitation to most middle grade readers, girls or boys, even those who may not normally pick up realistic fiction. Personally, I prefer my ARC cover You like image error Watch my review discussion here a WONDERful first book of the year I read this book almost too quickly, I wanted it to last longer This might be technically a children s book, but it really was such a special and meaningful read and I highly recommend that everyone read this once in their lives I feel like I want to attach a giant asterisk to those two stars up there I acknowledge that this opinion will not be shared by 90% orof readers. I know that most everyone is going to love this book it s a very sweet, heartwarming story And on top of that it s well written and flows really nicely I finished it in one afternoon For a really well thought out, positive review I would read Flannery s If you insist on staying here be prepared for dissent and lot of middle school reminiscing on my part You ve been warned. And now to the task at hand This is the story of August, a ten year old boy who s attending school for the first time He was born with major facial deformities, and has been homeschooled from early childhood His parents think it s time for him to attempt a real school environment, but he isn t sure In public, he s often greeted by curious stares or even open revulsion Will he be able to survive middle school This book got under my skin a lotthan I ever expected it to I thought that my major complaint if any would be that it was too light, too sweet But this book has a lot of depth It contains six orI kind of lost track points of view The narrative is handed off relay style from one pair of eyes to another, starting with August and moving forward to his sister Via and then to his friends I think this was largely successful although, and this is just my opinion I think that if you need to distinguish multiple POV s using differences in spelling capitalizations fonts then you probably shouldn t be writing multiple POV s Justin s chapter written in present tense and with no capitalizations and the emails texts between Auggie and Jack which were horrific in their spelling, even though the two boys have perfect spelling in their respective sections felt distracting But for the most part I found this to be a very engrossing, intelligent, thoughtful read I related really strongly to the chapters from Via and Summer, in particular.However, I think that the main reason that I just could not connect with this book is that I fundamentally disagree with its central lesson, which boils down to be kind To explain myself properly, I need to relate a little history of my own and this is where this review gets personal One of my best friends for the past almost seventeen years is disabled I don t like saying that, because she hates that word I can hear her voice in my head right now, doing an exaggerated parody of the word handicapped hayun d CAPPED, which she also hates We met in 8th grade French class and quickly bonded over a shared love of movies and just about everything else We were practically joined hip to wheel she would totally laugh at that from grades 8 11, when I tragically had to move to another state Even so, we ve remained close I attended her wedding three years ago and we ve commiserated over the newborn phase now that she s had her first child.My friend has very limited mobility on the entire right side of her body As a small child, she walked using a walker, but made the decision as she got older to start using a wheelchair People often stared when she walked she moved so differently than everyone else They stared less when she was in a chair But there s one thing that my friend has always hated eventhan curious or disgusted stares when people asked her why she needed a wheelchair I don t know how many times a well meaning friend or adult sat down with her and asked all concern, all solicitude for her story She got so tired of it that she started making up fake answers This one was my favorite I I I don t know, man I was f fine yesterday I could walk Y you gotta help me I think it s contagiousAnd then she would proceed to clutch at whoever was asking.When we were fifteen, we spent one day together going around the mall and her neighborhood in wheelchairs I used one of her older ones It wasn t like some sophisticated attempt at a social experiment on my part I just wanted to get a small glimpse of what it was like for her In hindsight, I think that I could probably be accused of the kind of arrogant curiosity that she hated but she was forgiving enough to go along with my idea and if it bothered her, she never mentioned it What I remember most was how kind everyone was How solicitous How they looked at us with soft gazes, as they said things like, do you girls need any help today I finally got a small inkling of what it must be like to deal with that for your entire life a constant wave of kind smiles and soft voices and helpfulness a constant blindness to everything about you It says you are not someone to be taken seriously, to be respected You are someone to be pitied A few of the many reasons that I love my friend so much are that she s outspoken, blunt, honest, and bold When we were teenagers, she would go right up to boys and flirt shamelessly with them She would state her opinions loudly with no apologies It was like a dare It was like she was saying I dare you to disagree with me, hate me, lust after me My friend didn t want to be treated with kindness she wanted to be treated like a person She wanted to be loved, hated, desired, or ignored just like everyone else And now I finally come to the point why I couldn t possibly connect with this book some spoilers follow I don t think that I m giving too much away when I say that Auggie gets a happy ending Or at least, it s supposed to be Auggie the character seems over the moon about it all He just loves it when the former bullies in his class start patting him on the back and calling him little dude like he s their special mascot That s what real friends do He s just so happy as his friends are growing up and discovering the opposite sex, as his beautiful friends Summer and Jack seem destined to be a couple It s so great Good thing he doesn t want any of that Nope He s just content to remain the asexual third wheel forever And he s ecstatic to receive an award for kindness that even he acknowledges was given to him because he s the kid with the disability And of course they all just cheer and cheer as he walks up to the podium in front of everyone so happy Even though he hates being in front of crowds And, YAY It s picture time Even though he s had a lifelong aversion to having his picture taken let s get a million With all of his close, close only started acknowledging him two seconds ago friends Okay, so sarcasm aside I do realize that not every disabled experience is the same Maybe Auggie would like to be acknowledged I don t know But when everyone s congratulating themselves for being so kind to him, it makes me feel insulted on his behalf Doesn t he want to be taken seriously Doesn t he want to be seen asthan just the special kid Doesn t he want to be respected as a person As a boy All I have is my own experience, and it tells me that it s better to treat people with dignity and respect than with kindness And so the central point of this book for all that it is very well meaning seems at best simplistic to me and at worst insulting. You don t need your eyes to love, right You just feel it inside you I chose this quote as my introduction to this review, because I think it fits the prevailing mood of the book so very well In my case Wonder definitely wasn t a sad book, or a book that caused me to cry rivers of tears, it however was a book that made me think a lot about life though I mean how could you not think about Auggie and the world we live in after finishing this book How could you not wonder if you re a good and righteous person It s easy to say you d never talk bad about a boy like Auggie, but how many of us can truly say that they never said a single bad word about another person How many can say they never bitched about someone else I think the answer is noneJack, sometimes you don t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone You understand We re all human, we have our dumb moments, we make mistakes and we all have flaws The thing is, no one is perfect and I think Wonder teaches this lesson very well Not directly or forthright like you would expect, but subtly and with a lot of finesse We can read it in the way the students react when Auggie starts to attend their school, we can see it in the blunt hostility Julian is showing whenever no adult is around to see it We witness it in the change of the students, in the change of the tide And this, my dear friends, is so beautiful and amazing to watchAt first, I admit it, I was only friendly to him because Mr.Tushman asked me to be especially nice and all that But now I would choose to hang out with him He laughs at all my jokes And I kind of feel like I can tell August anything Like he s a good friend Like, if all the guys in fifth grade were lined up against a wall and I got to choose anyone I wanted to hang out with, I would choose August Slowly and gradually the children around Auggie begin to realise that he s just another normal kid and that his face might look different but that he s actually a really cool guy to hang out with He convinces them with his actions and his wonderful character Not with his looks XDShe kissed me all over my face She kissed my eyes that came down too far She kissed my cheeks that looked punched in She kissed my tortoise mouth She said soft words that I know were meant to help me, but words can t change my face Still, there were many moments my heart ached for August and sometimes I just wanted to hug him like his mom It made me sad that he had to fight for being accepted, that he couldn t just go out like any other kid, that there always were people who stared at him But I didn t just feel for our cute and adorable protagonist but also for his family and friends The moment his father cried alone in his bedroom touched me so much I just couldn t stop thinking about it Not even after I closed the bookHis back was to the door, so he didn t know I was there At first I thought he was laughing because his shoulders were shaking, but then he put his palms on his eyes and I realized he was crying It was the quietest crying I ve ever heard Like a whisper I know everyone talks about Auggie and his experiences but I think his parents deserve to be mentioned as welll They raised two wonderful children Against all odds and with all the love a parent is able to give For me they are the secret stars of the book and I love them with all my heart They raised Auggie and Via to be two awesome and independent kids and this is an achievement Plus can we acknowledge their grandma as well I loved the scene with Via and her because it was done so beautifullyI love Auggie very, very much, she said softly I can still remember her Portuguese accent, the way she rolled her r s But he has many angels looking out for him already, Via And I want you to know that you have me looking out for you Okay, menina querida I want you to know that you are number one for me You are my She looked out at the ocean and spread her hands out, like she was trying to smooth out the waves, You are my everything You understand me, Via Tu es meu tudo Their grandma understood Via and her troubles and it may seem strange, but I was so thankful for her saying those things As Auggie s sister Via didn t always get the attention she needed, because parents tend to takecare of the kid that has problems and is in need of their advertency They had no other choice, it s only natural Still, I loved Olivia for accepting this and I loved her evenfor supporting her brother She obviously couldn t help but feel alone sometimes though and it was really comforting to know that her grandma was watching out for her Well her grandma and Justin of course P I m sure if I wanted, I could probably write an entire essay about this book, but I guess I ll just leave it at that In this particular case it might be best if you experience this wonderful book yourself All I m saying is that Wonder was a heart warming and super sweet read I can recommend it to everyone and I really hope many people will learn from it and will becomebroad minded and kind in the future Open your minds and hearts You re beautiful and perfectly imperfect don t let anyone tell you otherwiseYou were wearing that helmet all the time And the real, real, real, real truth is I missed seeing your face, Auggie I know you don t always love it, but you have to understand I love it I love this face of yours, Auggie, completely and passionately And it kind of broke my heart that you were always covering it up You really are a wonder, Auggie You are a wonder I ve read this book twice now, and it will definitely always have a special place in my heart This is a book that makes me laugh, makes me cry, and gives me endless amounts of hope I love this book, and will probably be giving out copies to my friends and family this Christmas first read in May 2013 |READ EBOOK ⚇ Wonder ⚖ I Won T Describe What I Look Like Whatever You Re Thinking, It S Probably Worse August Pullman Was Born With A Facial Difference That, Up Until Now, Has Prevented Him From Going To A Mainstream School Starting Th Grade At Beecher Prep, He Wants Nothing Than To Be Treated As An Ordinary Kid But His New Classmates Can T Get Past Auggie S Extraordinary Face WONDER, Now ANew York Times Bestseller And Included On The Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, Begins From Auggie S Point Of View, But Soon Switches To Include His Classmates, His Sister, Her Boyfriend, And Others These Perspectives Converge In A Portrait Of One Community S Struggle With Empathy, Compassion, And AcceptanceAlternate Cover Edition ISBNISBN A wonderful read for all ages. Update Saw the 10am movie this morning Paul bought our tickets while I covered my face with my hat until we got to our seats in the dark theater I have a small surgery this coming Monday in the doctor s office on my nose thank heavens for the numbing prescription cream before the shots and knife come at me.Then the bigger surgery, Nov 29th, at the hospital, so I wanted to see this film escape from hiding inside my home as my inspiration beforecutting on my face I admit to not being able to watch this film without tears It was WONDER ful The movie has a terrific cast Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, and Izabela Vidovic The film doesn t only focus on Auggie It also revolves around his sister, his parents, his dog, conflicts and friendships with other students at school, and bullying A very heartwarming film..and little Auggie is still my hero Re READ this last night..Augie is my inspiration.The movie opens here Nov 17th With 2surgeries on my face this month forehead and nose areaLittle 10 year old Augie is my imaginary friend I feel ready scars will just be scars and beauty really does come from the inside And love is Love All that mushy jazz Wonder is wonderful and the movie looks like a Wonder too Looking forward to seeing the film.The author created an incredible character Augie lives in the minds now of millions of people around the world Huge honors to the author I read this book yesterday wonderful Teen book for for adults like me too I wanted a book to rest with One sitting 3hour page turning book This was it I smiled I cried Priceless Wow I am so glad that I finally got around to listening to this story Wonder had been sitting on my TBR list for a really long time, but I had been waiting for a time to listen to it with my daughters That time finally arrived last weekend, when we had to spend a full day in the car on a trip.I had read many great reviews for this book, so I had really high hopes going into it In fact, I was worried that I would be disappointed, as I often am with a book that is surrounded by so much hype However, I can say that this book did not let me down in any way In fact, it exceeded every expectation that I had I absolutely loved this story Wonder tells the story of a young boy, August Pullman aka Auggie , who is going to begin attending school for the first time ever Auggie has been homeschooled for years by his mother because he was born with severe facial deformities, requiring multiple operations over the course of his young life Despite the myriad of surgeries that he has undergone, he still lives with significant facial disfigurement Now, Auggie will be entering the fifth grade at Beecher Prep.Told from multiple POVs, this book provides a thorough account of Auggie s experiences I was especially impressed with the raw honesty of his sister s POV Growing up with Auggie wasn t easy, as she always came second to his needs She struggled with resentment and guilt over having those feelings, as she truly loved her brother but craved the attention of her parents also.Auggie s POV was also brutally honest He was well aware of how other people viewed him Yet, no amount of awareness can make a child immune to the stares and cruel words His story was heartbreaking, but inspiring.It was also easy to relate to the POVs of others, including Jack, the boy who befriends Auggie at school Although some of his actions were upsetting, he was only human I had to remind myself that he was just a young boy, battling his own insecurities and trying to fit in at a very impressionable age Even good people do bad things sometimes.As a parent, I both admired and sympathized with Auggie s mother My heart went out to her I could only imagine how difficult it would be to enroll your child into school, wanting to provide as normal a life as possible, while also wanting to shelter and protect him I don t know what I would ve done in her shoes.Not surprisingly, this was an incredibly emotional story At times, it was downright depressing However, I couldn t help but fall in love with Auggie and his resilience This story broke my heart, but it also inspired me Most importantly, this story will make you reflect on your views and behaviors This story highlights the cruelty of people s actions, bred from ignorance and fear Never have I read a story that so effectively prompts readers to examine the impact of their actions and words For children, this was a wonderful lesson in empathy This book prompted some thoughtful discussion with my daughters 5 and 10 about bullying and the golden rule Although some of the story went over the head of my 5 year old, who was primarily hung up on the hilarity of the farting nurse , my 10 year old didn t miss a beat I have no doubt that this story will stick with her and make herconsiderate and empathetic toward other children Wonder is the type of book that should be required reading in schools and I m glad to hear that it is in some schools already Just like The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank s Diary , this book is a book that guides you to be a better,thoughtful, person It is beautiful and engaging No doubt about it, this book left it s mark on me I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old Check outof my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com