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R. J. Palacio

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You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

In Wonder, heartstrings are well and truly yanked and although I did not weep, I was moved, as most parents should be, by the tale of little August Pullman.

The book succeeds, ultimately, because the hero, known as Auggie, is such a marvellous character.

He's smart, funny and courageous. What marks him out is a terrible facial abnormality, caused by a mutant gene, which has resulted in him having 27 operations.

Early in the book, August says: "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." Clues are slowly dropped about his craniofacial abnormality.

He is described as having "a mushed-up face" at birth. He eats "like a tortoise" because of surgery to repair a cleft palate that has left a hole in the roof of his mouth.

His eyes come down too far, he has cheeks "that looked punched in". What he hates most is his ears, which are "like tiny closed fists".

Auggie plaintively asks: "Why do I have to be so ugly, Mommy?" He's hyper-alert to how people react to his face.

Adults are often the most insensitive, talking behind their hands or staring in shock.

Even in generous souls he can see hesitation, even if it is "for a millionth of a second".

Additional Information

Author R. J. Palacio
Publisher Corgi Books
Publication date 19 Mar 2014
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780552565974

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