Palacio, R.J. Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories. (Wonder series.) Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. $16.99. ISBN:9781101934852. 303p. Gr. 3-7. P8Q5
Capitalizing on the success of “Wonder” books, the author has written a 3rd book, this time centering on the lives of three of the peripheral characters, Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte. I read this without having read the other two books (Wonder and 365 Days of Wonder) to see if it would be a stand-alone. Since the plot and characters are very simplistic and repeat a lot of the action of the other books, it’s safe to say yes, this can be read out of order. Readers will find out that the motivations of others aren’t always straightforward and that compassion towards all, even the bully, can result in better understanding and smoother relationships. Overall, though, the book is uneven in writing and characters are unrealistic.
October 2015 review by L.F., NHS Staff
[Editor’s note: Three novellas, companion pieces to Palacio’s book, Wonder, previously published separately as e-books, are now available as a printed volume. Each of the novellas focuses on a character from Wonder; The Julian Chapter on the bully who hates Auggie, Pluto on Auggie’s best friend, and Shingaling on the girl picked to be Auggie’s ‘welcome buddy’ in the new school. Reviewers on http://www.goodreads.com strongly suggest reading Wonder before reading these companion pieces, not least because they each present a different perspective on the story of August Pullman–Auggie–a homeschooled boy born with severe facial abnormalities who is attending a private school for the first time in fifth grade.]