Wonder RJ Palacio Book Review

Auggie Pullman, main character of Wonder by RJ Palacio has been home schooled his entire life because of a severe facial deformity. This year all that is about to change as Auggie will go to a real school for the first time– and begin fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Wonder details Auggie’s first year attending school -with it’s ups and downs. Palacio masterfully conveys themes of family, friendship, and bullying in her debut middle grade novel.

Wonder RJ Palacio Book Cover, Blue, One Eye


Wonder is divided into eight parts with are told through a different character’s perspective. The first and last parts are told through Auggie’s perspective which brings all of the parts together. The chapters are very short. Palacio is not one to waste words and thus the pacing of Wonder is very tight and moves along.

Yet, what truly drives Wonder by RJ Palacio are the characters. Auggie is a sweet, earnest kid who loves Star Wars. He handles reactions to his deformity very well, he is used to people reacting badly to his face. Yet, we see his vulnerable side too. He is very realistically drawn. Via, August’s older sister, is another exceptional character we meet in Wonder. We see her struggle between being Auggie’s protector, the girl who everyone knows as August’s sister, the easy child and between forming an identity for herself at her new high school. It’s quite a touching side story and speaks to the complexity of family interactions.

The overall message of Wonder is one that really resonates with me and I think will resonate with other readers. Palacio shows that kindness is necessary and something we should endeavor to treat others with. I think in our fast paced world treating others with dignity is something to strive towards and not forget, and Wonder beautifully reinforces this idea.

Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine.

Other reviews of Wonder by RJ Palacio:

The Midnight Garden
The Book Smugglers
Cosy Up Book Reviews

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Something like this makes me sensitive, makes me want to cry. I can already feel the emotion emanating from it. It has me equal parts wary and intrigued.

    A. Knight recently posted..ARC Review: Allegiance (#2)My Profile

  2. This book had me in pieces. And I loved the inclusion of Via’s story too.
    Vicki recently posted..Oldest Book On The Shelf Challenge: February Review-The Last Survivors (Books 2 & 3) by Susan PfefferMy Profile

  3. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about this book and as usual, your review makes me want to read it more.
    Nafiza recently posted..Bye Bye FebruaryMy Profile

  4. I am adding this to my tbr list right now.
    Meghan recently posted..[discussion] XVI and Truth by Julia KarrMy Profile

  5. I wasn’t sure about this book but it sounds like something I’d read with my middle school students! We try not to force life lessons down their throats but when a great book comes along containing positive messages, it’s hard to resist sharing. Think I’ll have to check it out!
    Mary @ Book Swarm recently posted..Speed Date with Ethan: DEAD TO YOU by Lisa McMannMy Profile

  6. Great little review, April.

    *standing ovation* 😉
    capillya recently posted..if YA covers were advertisementsMy Profile

  7. Sounds super emotional, not like a normal read for me. But I think it would be something that would be great for me to read to my kids particularly because of all of the differing perspectives, you know, because of how hard it is for the younger ones to grasp how hard it is for the one being looked at, teased, felt different about, etc. Also to be inside the head of the ones looking at them…yeah, I think I could read this one from that standpoint but it doesn’t sound like something I would be dying to read for myself personally. This is the first review/blog post/summary I’ve read about this one. Thanks April! I’ll put this one on my radar.
    Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) recently posted..My Thoughts On: Torn by Amanda HockingMy Profile

  8. I’ve heard such good things about this book, and I can’t wait for it to arrive at the library! It seems like I’ve had it on hold for AGES, very slowly moving up the hold list.
    Melissa recently posted..Between Shades of Gray – New CoverMy Profile


  1. […] reviews: The Book Smugglers Good Books and Good Wine The Midnight Garden The […]

  2. […] “The overall message of Wonder is one that really resonates with me and I think will resonate with other readers.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine […]

  3. […] that it is very well-meaning) seems at best simplistic to me – and at worst – insulting.” Good Books and Good Wine – “Palacio shows that kindness is necessary and something we should endeavor to treat […]

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