A book with blue cover has been attracting my attention since the early months of 2016. When a bookstore chain declared a sale, I considered buying this book, and when I saw it, I felt like disappointed because there were few copies left (three actually). I had to go to a nearer branch only to find out that it was sold out. I raced to the previous bookstore and bought it without second thoughts.
Buying R. J. Palacio’s Wonder is the best decision I had in my book-hoarding escapades this October. Yes, I bought a lot of books (I mean it—a lot). But after resting it on a table, I finally took it, read it, and the rest was indeed a worthwhile experience.
Like the other books I read this sembreak, it took me one day and a half to finish the book (with breaks).
Literally, I had to take a time out because from time to time I felt like I need to breathe and digest whatever I read. It’s really hard to take everything at once.
For a brief intro for this book, check this out.
Wonder reminds me of my earlier favorite books, The Curious Case of a Dog at a Nighttime, The Absolute Diary of a Part-time Indian, The Little Prince, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But of course, Palacio (I’m not sure if that’s her real name or just a pen name) did a unique and wonderful job.
The book tells a journey of a young kid as he enters a real school after being homeschooled all his childhood. His battles and challenges were really humbling. I can’t help but to want to hug the main character who’s Auggie while I felt I was being hugged as I read the book.
The innocence of a child speaks so loud in this book, and maybe that brings the story closer to my heart and I believe it does in every reader who chanced to leaf the pages of this book. The author let the characters narrate their point of views in the most honest and sincerest way. I guess they don’t feel to cover up or to pretend anymore so they exposed what they really think and feel in the moments they are in. I like it very much because the thoughts and feelings that they express in the book are the things most of us keep in ourselves in most occasions in our entire life. The characters themselves were able expose the things we hide and the things we want others know but keep them still in us.
The observation of the world of every character is very witty and profound. Indeed, the books will leave any reader full of insights and understanding of a struggle that every child faces. Or even adults do as well. Although I was tempted to jump and find out whose point of views would be next, I decided not to and I was glad I did because I got surprised with some of the point of views I never expected would come out in the book.
I was able to relate to Auggie and to almost all of the characters – whether good or bad. They spoke the words that maybe I have never spoken all these years and they told a story common to me as a student. I can’t help but to laugh, cry, and get mad once in a while. I usually have butterflies in my stomach when I get excited, and reading the book gave me a lot. As I read, suddenly their pains become my pains and their triumphs became mine, too.
The circumstances that each character goes through make us empathize to them as if we have no choice but to show that we care. Their experiences reveal the victim and the perpetrator in us. I feel rescued and guilty for one time or another. I feel responsible every time I come across a child anywhere I go. He or she might be experiencing what Auggie and the rest of the kids did.
I like a lot of lines in the book, but the following lines mean a lot to me as I read them:
“Now that I look back, I don’t know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”
“But the best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average—though those things are important, to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you have touched this year. This , to me, is the greatest measure of success.”
“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.”
After my reading experience, I think R.J. Palacio’s Wonder is the best book I’ve read this 2016. I tend to forget some characters I encounter, but I’m sure I’ll never forget Auggie Pullman.