What first drew me to this book back just before Christmas was the cover. Of course, I had many preconceived notions about a free-spirit who looked at the world through a different point of view (the title "Wonder" combined with the one eye). I was WAAAAAYYYY off the mark. R.J. Palacio's book Wonder is about a "normal" fifth grader with a severe physical facial deformity. The book gives us a quick glimpse into his first year in school (he was home schooled until 5th grade) from several different perspectives. The way this story is told is simply wonderful. The book is hopeful, but not too syrupy.
I had also read several reviews/blogs giving high praise to this book. I hoped to do this for my book club, but the paperback was not out yet (hardcover too cost prohibitive for my group). From what I have read, February 2015 will be the paperback release. I guess I'm off to check the used bookstore for the next several months.
Reading level is around grade 5 (lexile 790). I, the world's slowest adult reader, read this 300ish page book in a day. My 16 year old daughter read this book and loved the book, too. However, I would say it is geared at the 5-8 grade level as far as interest. I am going to give it to my avid-reader son who is going into fourth grade. I'm curious if he will enjoy it.
For a video book trailer, click HERE. This link will connect one to R.J. Palacio's website. I was surprised to learn this is her first book. She said she is NOT going to write its sequel--hooray! This is one of those books that you are left to think about, but not have all the questions 100% resolved.