Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
This book is so well done, and I recommend that everyone read it, but we warned–it’s tough to get through. Not because it’s difficult to read, however–I actually believe it to be accessible to most young readers–but because it really takes a toll on its readers’ emotions.
The main character, Auggie, is so fully realized that I completely felt his pains, his fears, his happiness, and his anxieties as I read. His story touched me in a way that few others do. Palacio reminds us of the times that we’ve mistreated someone for being different, and without once being heavy-handed, she tells us how we should have handled those situations. I wish I’d had this book when I was younger.
Also, this book has one of my favorite character descriptions of any book I’ve ever read, and it does so without telling us anything about his appearance: “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”