Thursday, August 14, 2014
"I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse".
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
Wow, this is a powerful book that will stay with me forever. I actually hugged it to my chest when I finished reading. This book is so thought-provoking, it opens your mind and definitely your heart. It made me laugh and it made me cry (more than once). The characters are described vividly, making them easy to relate to and connect with. I loved how the story begins with Auggie's point of view, but then jumps to the perspectives of the other main characters. I think it is this feature that evokes empathy but enables this book to be transformed into the inspirational story that it is, a story which promotes resilience and kindness.
I've given this book to my 10-year-old daughter to read, she is almost half-way through. She's a sensitive soul and we are having deep discussions about the way people react to others through their words and body language and how sometimes we might hurt other people even when we don't mean to. I can tell she is particularly touched by the morality issues and how difficult it is to stand up for your beliefs when peer-pressure is a major factor. I wish that every upper-primary student would read this book, it is impossible to read without reflecting on your own actions.
One of my favourite features of Wonder was the inclusion of precepts, or rules to live by. The one that spoke to me most was "When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind" - Dr Wayne Dyer. The precepts in the book would provide great conversation starters for deep reflection and discussion. I really liked the teacher, Mr Browne's suggestion for student's to write their own precepts and send them to him.