Wonder Read-Along Part 1

Wonder Read-Along Part 1

I've mentioned that I tried to read Wonder by R.J. Palacio before.  I was intrigued by the cover art and I knew there was a good message behind it. However, I couldn't get through the beginning last time.  And now that I am reading it for our read-along, I HAVE to get through the beginning.

Here's my biggest issue, in other words, the biggest obstacle for me reading this novel. 


Okay, that's too things.  But they are intertwined for me.  And maybe I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm just not digging Auggie's voice.  His parents? Yeah.  They're funny and caring.  After all, Auggie giggles over farts and 'tushes' because of them.  And they have so much heart.  So I'm relating more to his parents at this point. 

And I don't think it's just because I'm a parent.  I think it's because I don't, as a writer and therefore as a reader, find the voice of the book as believable as a ten year old boy.  And, believe me, my Mini Me who is approaching twelve years old has always been beyond her years. Even as a toddler.  So if it was established early on that Auggie is an old soul, then maybe I can get behind this book.  As it was, it sort of dragged.

Man, I hate to say that!  But it did.

Here's the thing: the movie DVD comes out this week as well.  And I have a strong feeling that I might enjoy it more.  So after I finish the second half of the book, I'm going to watch the movie and write another EPIC book versus film post with our read-along post. 

The Doctor in Me

The doctor in me was initially trying to diagnose Auggie in the first few pages. Does he have Pierre-Robin Syndrome? Treacher-Collins?  There are some facial abnormalities that occur with both and also smaller ears or not fully-formed ears with the latter. 

We finally get to his diagnosis on p. 104 : Mandibulofacial dysostosis caused by an autosomal recessive mutation in the TCOF1 gene.  And some other stuff.  I found the genetics and punnett square stuff interesting.  As far as accuracy?  I'll have to ask my genetics specialist friend about it.  :D

Did you see Auggie in you?  Have you been bullied or teased as a kid?  (I think we all have....)  How would you see this differently if Auggie was your kid? Who did you relate to most in Wonder?

I've worked with many kids of various neuro-capabilities and various levels of medical issues.  I also know that if my Macy 'only' had trisomy 18, or had the original suspected diagnosis of trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), then she may have had some issues at school too. 

Things I Liked

  • Auggie's family--his parents and sister were fleshed out and real as characters to me.
  • Star Wars references, though I don't believe that Auggie's mom couldn't find a Boba Fett costume. :D
  • The thing I liked the most were the 'heart' of the book in my opinion--Mr. Browne's precepts.  At the girls' school, they have a monthly theme that they focus on and I think they could be considered precepts.  For example, this month's word is "Curiosity".  They strive to incorporate these principles within their learning and at their monthly school gatherings. 

Okay, here's where things come to a screeching halt.  Because since I 'assigned' us the first half of the book before I actually read the book, I realized on page 80 something that it's not going to happen like that.  Because.....SCREEEEEEECH....we come to the point where Palacio CHANGES point of view.  To Auggie's sister's POV.  No.  No.  No.  Why?

So then I flip through and find that we'll also get Jack's POV and Justin's POV and then we get back to Auggie.  This is a no-go for me.  I accept it in fanfiction.  I didn't accept it with Breaking Dawn (the last book in The Twilight Saga for those of you living under a rock) and I don't accept it here.  I don't think it serves a purpose.  Either make the point of view in third person omniscient or choose one narrator.  Not two, and certainly not four. 

Sigh.  And then Via's point of view isn't that interesting to me because it feels like the typical non-sick sibling character.  Yes, there's a special family dynamic.  But I don't think we had to go into the stereotypical, even in a middle grade novel.  Maybe that's just me. 

Um, and then I realized that just as I'm getting used to Via's voice, we switch to Summer.  For about ten pages or so.  Sigh. I don't need to hear about repetitive events from Summer's point of view.  It doesn't move the story forward.  Then we get Jack, which I mostly skimmed. So now I'm at page 180 though I've skimmed ahead of Justin's (Via's boyfriend) back to Jack's section.  I think we could have had more insight if Palacio stuck to one point of view.

I'm disappointed overall with the first half of Wonder.  And I'm not the only bibliophile who struggled with reading it. 

Here's hoping the second half is better.  Or at least moves the story forward....

[The second half of our discussion of Wonder is posted here.]

Tell Dr. Bookworm!

What did you think about Wonder?

Did you see Auggie in you?  Have you been bullied or teased as a kid?  (I think we all have....)  How would you see this differently if Auggie was your kid? Who did you relate to most in Wonder?

Have you seen the movie?  Have you read the book a while ago?  Let me know what you thought in the comments. 

Long Way Down

Long Way Down

Valentines Day Cards Upcycling

Valentines Day Cards Upcycling