Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by R. J. Palacio

When Wonder, a heartwarming, soul-touching novel by R. J. Palacio, made its way onto the bestseller shelves and into the lives of readers, there was no doubt that more adventures in the world of Wonder would be just as deep and thought-provoking. With Auggie and Me, R. J Palacio brings three more Wonder stories following Julian, Charlotte and Christopher and how August Pullman touched their lives.

Originally separate ebooks, The Julian Chapter, Shingling and Pluto have now been compiled into one enthralling companion to Wonder: Auggie and Me.

As a reader, I really love how R. J. Palacio gives you each of these character’s perspectives on their experiences with Auggie. The wonderful thing about these stories is that they become each character’s own. Although Auggie is a key component to each of the stories, you also get insight into each of these character’s lives. I think it is very important to read Auggie and Me after reading Wonder not only because it may give some spoilers or some inferences which would be more appreciated if you read Wonder, but also because it shows you these three character’s point of view and in some cases justifies or makes you understand questionable actions the characters carried out in Wonder. However, Auggie and Me could also be a great book separate from Wonder, as it does create whole new stories centering around three different characters.

Auggie and Me is definitely a must-read for fans of Wonder who want to read more about or redeem the characters of Wonder. Or it could even be for someone just looking for a heartwarming read that will leave them turing pages until their eyes meet the last words R. J. Palacio left on the page.

-Elina T.

Auggie & Me by R. J. Palacio is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Special Edition)

wonder_rjpalacioInspiration comes from everyday things. Imagine walking into a restaurant and having everybody look at you with a horrified expression. You turn around, and expect to see something terrifying . . . and then you realize that they’re looking at you. Now what if this happens every time you meet someone new? Each and every time a stranger sees your face. Each and every single time, until they get used to you.

This is what it’s like for 10-year-old Auggie Pullman. Born with severe facial differences, he’s had to live his whole life like that. So he’s gotten sort of used to it, or so he thought. Twenty strangers in a grocery store now seems like a grain of sand when Auggie’s parents tell him he’s been enrolled into an actual school for the first time. (Because of his many surgeries, Auggie had been homeschooled until now). An actual school, with actual hundreds of kids, who are worse at hiding their reactions than adults are, named Beecher Prep.

I’d be less than honest if I said this book didn’t change my point of view on people who are different from me. Even though the main characters are younger than me, this book really opened my eyes. Even my mom thought it should be required reading. It doesn’t matter who you are, we can all learn something life changing from this book. Even from the bully. Which brings me to . . .

What’s the special edition? Well, Wonder was originally written in six different points of view, but due to curiosity from the fans, the author wrote a bonus chapter, written from Julian’s (the book’s antagonist) view. The bonus chapter is actually 100 additional pages, and consists of more than one chapter, but all the same, it adds more to the primary theme of empathy – understanding those who are different, whether on the outside or inside. Empathy is necessary for each of us to grow as human beings.

This book is great for all ages because it shares so many typical events that touch our lives, from losing best friends to starting over fresh, to embracing your differences, to standing up for what you believe in. The greatest (in size and in goodness) takeaway from this book is to always choose kind. It’s a wonder that this is not always the automatic choice.

-Danielle L., 7th Grade

Wonder (Standard Edition) is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library, Overdrive, and Axis360.

Book Review: Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

wonder_coverThe book Wonder was truly beautiful, wonderous, and inspiring. It is a realistic fiction about a 5th grade boy going into real school for the first time. This boy has really severe facial deformities and he has had to have tons of surgery. He feels like a normal kid, but to everyone else he has the “Plague,” he looks like a zombie, and other cruel things. When the popular kids gang up on him and he hears his best friend talking about him behind his back, he just deals with it, because “the universe was not kind to [him]. He knows that he is “cool beans.”

Even if you think this book will be, as my friend put it, “another one of those depressing books about kids dealing with bullies in school,” or have something against 5th graders– read it. Everyone must read it. I swear, if you read this book, you will never, ever in your life, look at someone with a facial deformity, wince, and look away. Another good book to read that is more depressing is called Out Of My Mind. I would check Wonder out of the library immediately (I have it checked out right now at my school library). Wonder will change your whole life.

-Becka O., 9th grade