Friday, November 11, 2016

Fiction Friday (48)

As promised, there were more book reviews to come. This book is one that I never would have picked up on my own and read it for my library course work. I'm glad I did. It's also a book that would serve many people in this country well after the disastrous elections that chose to support anger and hate over progress and tolerance. This is a book that teaches understanding and acceptance...something we obviously need more of in this world.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
(Knopf 2012)

This is a novel that borders the Middle Grade and YA and has been near the top of NYT Children's Bestseller list for over two years.  It is one of those rare bestsellers that is truly wonderful. While it's about a fifth grader with a severe facial deformity, and the struggles he faces when entering a school for the first time, it's much broader than that and really captures the struggles of growing up and the difficult years of Middle School and early High School. It deals with many difficult topics in a sensitive and realistic way that can't help but cause readers to become emotionally attached to the wonderful family at the heart of the book.

The novel is told from a number of perspectives, but the Pullman siblings dominant the narrative. They were also the strongest and most sincere voices. When some of the periphery characters take over, I found their voices to be less authentic and a little more forced, but their insight to the story was crucial for the instilling the sense of empathy that young readers should develop while reading this book.

I'm fairly certain this is one of those novels that will become a classic, read in school for years and years to come because of the powerful message of kindness and acceptance. A delightful and moving read for all ages.

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