This next book in my series of posts to encourage parents to read with children is for older children, I’d suggest 8 years and upwards to really get the most out of Wonder.
Wonder is an incredible book that was written by R J Palacio. The story shares the lives of a number of characters who all spend time with a young boy called August during a tough time of his life, his first year at school! But August is starting school later than most other children having been homeschooled for years.
August has been homeschooled for years because he was born with a disfigured face. He has had to have frequent surgeries to help him and has largely been hidden from society.
The book is written in the first person perspective and different chapters move the story along from different characters’ point of view. This in itself makes Wonder stand out from most other books and is provides lots of opportunities to talk to children about the “voices” of the characters and how they differ. Some of the characters are nice, some are nasty and some even misspell words often. It makes it all very personal.
It’s a great book to read to and with your children as it’s written from different points of view and teaches important lessons about school, bullying and early friendships/relationships.
Throughout the year August has to deal with trying to make friends, being the new boy, bullies and everything eh me that come with being a growing child. All of this is made all the more difficult for him thanks to his face always making him dramatically stand out.
Part of the genius of Wonder is how poignant moments can be read about from several different characters point of view. When August is picked on we hear of it from his point of view, his friends and the bullies. In fact a sequel has been released with the focus now on the bully.
It’s worth sharing at this point that I’m a sucker for lovely heartwarming stories and intensely happy moments in films. Wonder left me crying my eyes out on at least 3 occasions. The big finish in particular, at the end of the school year, left me in a total mess. Books have never made me cry before.
My daughters are too young to enjoy this with at the moment but I am already looking forward to the excuse to read this again, this time sharing it with my girls.