Do the preparation exercise first and then read the article. If you find it too easy, try the next level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.
What’s Wonder about?
Wonder is the story of a ten-year-old boy who lives with his parents and sister in New York. August, or Auggie, is an ordinary boy in many ways. He rides a bike and likes playing with his Xbox. But Auggie has deformities of the face and looks very different from other children. At the start of the book, he tells us 'My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.' In the street, people look at Auggie and his appearance shocks them.
Auggie has never been to school because he has spent a lot of time in hospital. His mother teaches him at home, but now he’s ten, she thinks he should go to school. At first, Auggie doesn’t want to go. He worries that other students will look at him and say horrible things. But then he visits a school with his mum, he likes the headteacher and decides to go. Auggie’s first year at school has good times and bad times. Auggie makes some good friends but other children are horrible to him. At the end of the year, Auggie goes on a school trip and a frightening event there changes things completely.
Is it a good book?
Wonder is an excellent book. It tells an inspiring story that makes you feel many different emotions. Once I started reading it, I didn’t want to stop. It is easy to like Auggie. He has a good sense of humour, so the book has a good mix of funny and sad moments. But the book isn’t just about Auggie. We learn what life is like for his sister, and Jack, who is Auggie’s friend. Wonder is a book about a ten-year old boy, but it’s popular with people of all ages. Pre-teens, teenagers and adults all love Wonder.
Wonder is RJ Palacio’s first book. On her website, she explains that she had the idea for Wonder after seeing a girl with deformities on the street one day. Many schools are using the book to start discussions about bullying, friendship and being different. The book is very popular and has won prizes. There will be a film of Wonder, and many people, including me, are looking forward to seeing what RJ Palacio writes next.
Worksheets and downloads
Do you want to read Wonder? Why?/Why not?