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Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pullman is about to enter fifth grade in a regular school. Up until this point, he has been home schooled due to a rare facial deformity that has caused him to undergo more surgeries in half a childhood than most people endure in a lifetime. Childhood cruelty manifests in a game referred to as “The Plague,” meaning kids pretend that they need to avoid touching him so that they do not contract some strange disease. Add to that the incessant staring and gossip, and Auggie struggles to feel okay about himself and his life.
Halloween is a beacon of light for him, however… a day when his appearance is not first and foremost at issue… a day when he can be himself and feel like a normal kid.
Also, August’s family is incredibly supportive, and his sister Olivia’s (Via's) friend Miranda adores Auggie, plays with him and calls him “Major Tom.” His dog Daisy is lovable and brightens everyone’s day.
15-year old Via, her friend Miranda, Via’s boyfriend Justin, and Auggie’s friends Jack and Summer all add their perspectives of their own lives and how they intersect with Auggie’s.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio, 2012
I am a big fan of Natalie Merchant’s, and I especially love her song, Wonder:
“Doctors have come from distant cities
just to see me
stand over my bed
disbelieving what they’re seeing.
They say I must be one of the wonders
of god’s own creation
and as far as they can see they can offer
—"Wonder" by Natalie Merchant
A customer told me that the cover work was reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange, and I found that to be true.