R.J. Palacio

Book Report
Sidney Dick


His condition is one in a million. With no sign of eyelashes, eyebrows, or ears August is an incredibly special child. His eyes are much lower on his face then that of most people, and his skin resembles the texture of melted flesh from a fire. Even after numerous surgeries, August still lives with his deformities and the struggles of everyday life. August is going into fifth grade and after being homeschooled all of the previous years, he is cautious when deciding to attend an actual school. At school August gets picked on quite a bit but he meets a nice girl named Summer who becomes his best friend through thick and thin. The genre of this book is contemporary and the themes that are displayed in this book are judgment, compassion, true friendship and courage.

What did you enjoy about this book?

I enjoyed this book because each of the main characters contributed to Augusts' story from their point of view. I enjoyed this because it is always nice to hear more than one side of a story. That way the reader can understand everyones feelings from their own personal experience instead of just from the main character. Being able to understand every characters thoughts can be very important when it comes to books like this one.

What was the author’s purpose for writing this book?

The author wrote this book to tell a story about a boy who was treated differently because of events he could not control. He tells the story first from Augusts' point of view and how he felt when people would stare at him or make rude comments behind his back. The author also tells the story from the point of views of Via (Augusts' sister), Jack Will and Summer (Augusts' Friends), and other important people in his life. The author does this to help the reader understand how people in Augusts' life feel and portray what they thought about August the first time they saw him.

Which characters play important roles that relate to the overall theme?

I believe that Summer and Julian played important roles in this book because they showed how real people would treat a child like August with his condition. Summer was Augusts' best friend and she didn't care that he had deformities, she liked him because of his humor and kindness towards people. Julian on the other hand was polar opposite. Like most people who meet August, Julian avoided him at all cost. He made up a game at school where whoever touched August had a disease, and he turned everyone against Jack Will because he was a friend to August. These two characters show both sides to the reality of how people treat others who are different from them.

Why would you recommend this book?

I would recommend this book because there are several life lessons that can be learned from it. By reading this book, a reader can get somewhat of an understanding of how hard it is to not only be the new kid in school, but to go through life with a facial deformity. Even though no one could possible be able to know how August felt every time a child caught of glimpse of him and shrieked or when families would move away from him like he has some kind of disease. A reader can still look through the eyes of August Pollman and see that life wasnt easy for him.