In the companion novel to Wonder, (2012) three students at Beecher Prep middle school tell stories that connect with Auggie Pullman’s dramatic arrival into their worlds.
“Sometimes friendships are hard,” and friendship with Auggie Pullman is a special challenge. He is different. He looks different, and that’s not easy in middle school. He has a “severe craniofacial difference,” facial features that, even after many surgeries over the years, look like “the drippings on the side of a candle.” Now, Palacio zeros in on three characters: Julian, the bully; Auggie’s oldest friend, Christopher; and Charlotte, the girl who is nice to Auggie but never especially friendly. Auggie is the common thread in their stories, but he’s behind the scenes here, peripheral to their first-person narratives. Each character relates a story that includes an epiphany about friendship, family, and life. Auggie is the catalyst for transformations in their lives, but readers will see sides of characters Auggie never would have known. Originally published as short e-books, the stories are explorations of kindness, each character demonstrating how it takes bravery to be kind, how, in the tricky business of navigating new situations, “it’s always better to err on the side of kindness.”
Not only a companion to Wonder, but a wonder in itself. (Fiction. 8-14)