R.J Palacio’s 2012 novel, Wonder; tells the touching story of Auggie Pullman- a boy born with facial defects caused by mandibulofacial dystosis- who begins his first year in middle school. While he is accepted by teachers and some students who befriend him, he also faces prejudice and bullying from others... because of his condition. The novel has been adapted into a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as Auggie's parents, Izabela Vidovic as his sister Via and Jacob Tremblay as Auggie. The movie is set to be released on the 17th of November, 2017.
Whoever has read Wonder will expect a tearjerker of a movie because Wonder depicted a main social issue still prevalent in the world today, prejudice. In this case, it has nothing to do with race, nationality, religion or even sexual orientation. It had to do with difference in appearance. Auggie’s parents decide to let him attend a school with other children. Auggie, while aware how people stare at his disfigured face, has to deal with how he is wrongly judged by his appearance- called a ‘freak’, suspected at first to be slow and sadly... even bullied. Auggie has to prove that he’s none of those things and hold his chin up, amidst the unkindness, wariness and hostility. Luckily, he finds and makes friends who don’t care about his appearance but the person within. Nonetheless, Auggie’s strength of character and determination to succeed makes for a very compelling read.
The novel not only depicted prejudice but also love, negative parental influence, jealousy, the power of friendship and most of all; never judging a book by its cover- or in this case- never judging a person by his or her appearance and how beauty can be found within.
R.J Palacio was inspired to write Wonder after an encounter with a little girl with a facial defect, while getting ice cream with her children.