Hello! I’m An Overthinking Teenager (normally found residing over at Books, Tea and a Onesie), and I’m going to talk (read: fangirl excitedly) about my favourite book. First though, I just want to say a massive thank you to Kayleigh for having me – this series of guest posts look brilliant, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts :).
Right, onto my favourite book…it’s obviously hard to pick a favourite, but when I saw this post the first book that popped into my head was R.J. Palacio’s debut Wonder (though I’ve got to say, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell wasn’t far behind!). I absolutely love this book, and it holds the title of being one of the only books to nearly make me cry (I don’t cry at books easily, I don’t know why! I don’t really laugh out loud because of them often either). Here’s the blurb…
“‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’
Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?”
I first read it as part of the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme, though coincidentally I had picked a copy of it up from the library just before I discovered it was on the shortlist, so I would have read it anyway! I love this book because it’s incredibly moving yet funny. One of the reasons that I think it’s moving is because it’s massively relatable – multiple times, the way people naturally look at somebody with a disability then quickly look away was mentioned, from both Auggie’s point of view and his sister Via’s. Auggie’s POV especially moved me, because it made me think about the actual person behind the disability, something I think that we can often be guilty of ignoring, especially if we just glimpse a wheelchair when passing by or notice a disability very briefly.
Another thing I really like about this book is how it’s written – there are chapters from several POVs, including Auggie’s, his sister’s, his sister’s boyfriend’s and his best friend’s. This gives the reader a literary 360° view – you see how a disability can affect everyone the disabled person knows, including friends and family. This view can be incredibly eye-opening for the reader!
Wonder is, quite frankly, a wondrous book, and I don’t think enough people know about it – so I highly recommend you read it! I would love to know your thoughts if you have already read it, so do feel free to leave a comment! 🙂
Also, many thanks again to Kayleigh for having me! 🙂
An Overthinking Teenager