"Wonder" by R.J. Palacio
Okay, even before I get to the book, isn't this a fantastic cover?!
"Wonder" is about August, a special 10-year-old boy. Auggie is special because of a chromosomal abnormality that affects his face. When the story opens Auggie's mom introduces the idea of him going to school. The idea frightens Auggie. Because of his medical background he's been home-schooled by his mother through the 4th grade. August's dad wants to protect him from the cruelties he'll encounter in a school setting, but they decide to go through with a tour of the school. The reader meets August's new friends, sees his new school, and experiences the joys and pains of the 5th grade along side with him.
This book is such a wonderful exploration of the human heart. We have so many fears and the capacity to hurt, but also beauty within to love more than ourselves. You'll get to see this as you see the story through several different perspectives: August, his sister Via, Via's friend Monica, August's friend Jack, and a few others. Each voice is so unique, I was startled when I realized Palacio created all of them to tell August's story. She definitely has the gift of word-crafting.
This is one of those heart-warming stories that will be loved for decades. And one of my favorite things about it is that it's a book about a 10-year-old that I can proudly give to my own 10-year-old and know she can read it without offensive material creeping up here or there (that's the prudish side of me, again).
Please pick up "Wonder" next time you're looking for something soul-nourishing to read!