Mrs T's English Blog

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Wonder by RJ Palacio

October14

wonder

Author:   R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder

Date of Publication:  January 2013

 

AR Level: 4.8

 

Summary of book

The story follows a young teenager, August, as he spends his first year at school after a number of years being home schooled. August is an ordinary boy. The only difference between him and other children in that he has a facial dis-figuration which he was born with. The book covers his first year as he builds his confidence, makes (and loses) friends and learns the ups and downs of normal school life. The book is told from August’s point of view in some chapters but it’s also told from others characters’ points of view which enriches the book.

 

Who should read this book?

This book is good for everyone aged 9 and up as it makes you think about who you are and how you treat other people. I think adults would like this as much as children so it’s a lovely one for parent and child to read. I think boys and girls will like it equally as much as one another.

 

Who are the main characters?

August, 12ish

Via, August’s sister

Jack, Summer, Julian – some of August’s classmates

 

What can I learn from it?

Lots! This is a book about bullying and it really helps you to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ and connect with a variety of characters. It helps you to understand people, family and friendships a little more and definitely reminded me not to judge a book my its cover!

This book also covers the issue of grief and bullying so be careful reading this if you’re sensitive to either.

 

Themes/Issues

Bullying, friendship, identity, school, families, self-confidence, grief, death of animals, jealousy

 

What will excite a reader?

The character perspective keeps on changing so you get to see situations from a variety of points of view which is really interesting. August is such a likeable character and, as a reader, you grow attached to him quite quickly. August is quite funny to so I giggled at a few of his jokes and smiled when he smiled. The chapters are nice and short too so it will keep you interested.

 

What did Mrs T think of it?

I loved it! It really made me think about myself and the way I thought of others. At one point in the book I was balling my eyes out (really!) as it triggered some memories in me and was so heartfelt and genuine (see spoiler below if you want to find out more). I loved the ending and was smiling for a good hour after finishing reading it! I would definitely read it to a class as I feel it is so relevant to children today and we can learn a lot from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***Spoiler Alert – read with caution***
In the middle of the book, August has a pet which sadly has to be put down. This is quite an emotional part of the book and, as most children have experience of losing animal friends, this may upset a few children – it certainly made me remember past friends! There is also a scene where August is ambushed for no reason by some unfamiliar children.  Although this is resolved and it all turns out all right in the end, it may be a little too distressing for younger children.

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About Me

 I am Mrs Tunnicliffe and I am a teacher at Riders Junior School. I trained to be a teacher for four years at the University of Brighton and  have been teaching at Riders since September 2007. During the six years I have been at Riders, I have taught in year 3, year 5 and year 6 so I’ve been teaching/training to teach for 10 years now!

I work across Riders Infant and Junior School as an English leader (among other things). This means that I work hard to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening of children at Riders Infant and Junior School. I work with the children, teachers and support staff in both schools to make sure that children are getting better at English every day.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and I will be more than happy to help!

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