Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: Hardcover, 310 pages
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial difference that prevented him from going to a mainstream school – until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
I had seen this book multiple times over the past couple of years. But I was finally given a glimpse into its beauty when I filled in for a drama teacher one afternoon and she left this book for me to do a short read aloud with her students. And I got hooked by the story and the character.
Until I picked up the book for myself, I didn’t realize that the novel is actually told from multiple perspectives – though we do start and end with August. And it’s brilliant the way the story is told because we are able to understand the characters and events in a depth that would not have been possible if we only had August’s perspective.
August is truly an ordinary kid – but with extraordinary circumstances. And he does it with as much grace as is possible for a ten year old boy. He deals with bullying, teasing, ridicule, and new friendships with courage, forgiveness and understanding. It’s such a great book that I think should be introduced to all kids – and even adults. We can all do with a reminder that kindness goes a long way.
When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.
– Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation of this novel with Jacob Tremblay as August. I honestly can’t think of another young actor who could be more perfect for the role.