A Book to Leave You Filled with 'Wonder'
You know that feeling you have after finishing an extraordinary book? The feeling that makes you want to stand up and applaud and shout "bravo" while trying not to cry, even though you have a huge smile on your face? The kind of book that has you saying yes, yes, yes over and over inside your head and you find yourself trying to turn every discussion you have into a discussion about this special book?
After finishing the Wonder by R.J. Palacio, that is exactly how I felt and still feel. I haven't even been able to move on to new book yet. I'm not ready to leave Wonder; it is still too prominent in my mind and heart. Many times I find myself reflecting on this amazing book and letting out a very contented-but-longing sigh. Grateful for the journey, but also knowing it may be awhile until I find myself on another one I will enjoy just as much.
Wonder is the story of 10-year-old August who is going to school for the first time. Up until now, Auggie has been homeschooled because of a severe facial deformity that has left him in and out of the hospital throughout most of his childhood. Overhearing his parents discuss his upcoming school attendance, he hears the phrase "leading a lamb to the slaughter" and he wonders what that means. As Auggie rides the rollercoaster of fifth grade, we see him overcome the teasing and bullying. We see him persevere, survive and overcome. Truly he is a "wonder" to those who really know him. Wonder is told not only from the perspective of August, but also from those closest to him, helping the reader to grow even more in understanding human nature.
Near the end of the book, there is this passage in which the principal addresses an audience to say: "If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” The tears were flowing!
I highly recommend this book to anyone. Yes, this is a juvenile chapter book and there are a couple of fart jokes and the principal's last name is Tushman, but the life lessons in this book are too valuable to pass up!
If you have any recommendations of other books that have left you feeling this way, please let me know what they are. I would love to read them and share in the experience.