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Fear. It drives us all one way or another . . .
Into our shells. Running. Screaming. Avoiding.
Or standing tall, conquering what ignites our nervous system.
The thing is, you don’t really know how you’re going to react to a situation until you’re in the midst of it.
Auggie Pullman, a facially deformed fifth grade character, endures stares, jeers, and taunts on a regular basis. Walking out the door into the world takes a large dose of brave. But he keeps going. One foot in front of the other. With kindness.
In the story, not all the characters react to their fears the same way as Auggie. From their reactions, negative consequences erupt, including anger, hate, and hurtful acts. Add the element of peer pressure, the fear of not being accepted, of being ostracized, and situations deteriorate at an even faster rate.
The book contrasts obvious physical deformities to those that are more transparent. In handling any type of deformity or difference, we need to be more compassionate all around to make this world a better place. Education through stories is a great way to accomplish that.
Wonder is one of those stories. The book makes it clear that through all challenges, kindness matters. And Wonder speaks to our vulnerabilities, our humanness.
A quote on page 392, from a grandmother, “One mistake does not define you . . .” Which means realizing that a bad decision does not make you a bad person. But this section of the story also speaks of making things right, and forgiving oneself. Huge lessons.
Yes, we should all –young, old, and everyone in between— read this book to learn important lessons. But Wonder is also an enjoyable read. It’s well written and entertaining. A keeper of a book.
It’s simply wonder-full.
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