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Wonder
2012
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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Auggie Pullman was born with severe facial deformities—no outer ears, eyes in the wrong place, his skin "melted"—and he's learned to steel himself against the horrified reactions he produces in strangers. Now, after years of homeschooling, his parents have enrolled him in fifth grade. In short chapters told from various first-person perspectives, debut author Palacio sketches his challenging but triumphant year. Though he has some expectedly horrible experiences at school, Auggie has lucked out with the adults in his life—his parents love him unconditionally, and his principal and teachers value kindness over all other qualities. While one bully manages, temporarily, to turn most of Auggie's classmates against him (Auggie likens this to becoming the human equivalent of "the Cheese Touch," a clever Diary of a Wimpy Kid reference), good wins out. Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes—and hearts—to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Dispensing with the plot and multicharacter perspective of her much-lauded middle grade novel, Wonder (which also inspired the "Choose Kind" antibullying movement), Palacio focuses this picture book spin-off on the reflections of her hero and narrator, Auggie. "I just don't look ordinary," he says, and while what makes him so isn't specified, readers can see the difference between his single-eyed, featureless face (based on Tad Carpenter's cover illustration for the original novel) and Palacio's drawings of other kids. The love of Auggie's mother ("She says I'm a wonder!"), the companionship of his dog, Daisy, and his pretend play as an astronaut all help the boy momentarily escape the taunts of his peers. But he also holds out the hope, which the penultimate spread seems to affirm, that "people can change the way they see" and learn to appreciate the sentiment expressed in the title. Younger children need to hear Palacio's important message, but the wistful nostrums and flat, decorative cartooning don't fully do justice to her novel. Ages 4–8. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)

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PW Annex Reviews

Auggie Pullman was born with severe facial deformities—no outer ears, eyes in the wrong place, his skin "melted"—and he's learned to steel himself against the horrified reactions he produces in strangers. Now, after years of homeschooling, his parents have enrolled him in fifth grade. In short chapters told from various first-person perspectives, debut author Palacio sketches his challenging but triumphant year. Though he has some expectedly horrible experiences at school, Auggie has lucked out with the adults in his life—his parents love him unconditionally, and his principal and teachers value kindness over all other qualities. While one bully manages, temporarily, to turn most of Auggie's classmates against him (Auggie likens this to becoming the human equivalent of "the Cheese Touch," a clever Diary of a Wimpy Kid reference), good wins out. Few first novels pack more of a punch: it's a rare story with the power to open eyes—and hearts—to what it's like to be singled out for a difference you can't control, when all you want is to be just another face in the crowd. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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