The publisher's description:

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented   him from going to a  mainstream school—until now. He's about to start  5th  grade at Beecher  Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you   know how hard that  can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid,   with an  extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates  that  he's  just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio


Knowledge about:

For the Classroom:

Questions to discuss

_ 1.  Don’t judge a boy by his face

What do you think of the line ‘Don’t judge a boy by his face’ which appears on the back cover of the book?
Did this affect how much you wanted to read the story?
How much did this line give away about the story you were about to read?

  2.  Auggie’s appearance
Throughout Wonder, Auggie describes the way that many people react to seeing his face for the first time: by immediately looking away. Have you ever been in a situation where you have responded like this to seeing someone different? Having now read Wonder, how do you feel about this now?

Auggie’s face is not fully described until quite far on in the story, in Via’s chapter ‘August: Through the Peephole’. How close was this description to your own mental picture of Auggie? Did you have a picture of his face in your mind while reading the book? Did this description alter that picture?

  3. Auggie’s personality
How would you describe Auggie as a person in the first few chapters of the book? What about the final few chapters? Has he changed significantly? Are there any experiences or episodes during the story that you think had a particular effect on him? If so, how?

4. The astronaut helmet
In the chapter ‘Costumes’ Auggie describes the astronaut helmet that he wore constantly as a younger child. We later learn that Miranda was the one to give Auggie the helmet, and is proud of the gift, but that it was Auggie’s father who threw it away. What do you think the helmet signifies to each of these characters and why do you think they all view it so differently?

5. Star Wars
Star Wars is one of Auggie’s passions. Why do you think this is?
Do you see any reasons for Auggie to identify with these characters, or to aspire to be like them?

6. The use of humor in Wonder
Auggie’s parents bring Auggie around to the idea of attending school by joking with him about Mr. Tushman’s name, and telling him about their old college professor, Bobbie Butt. To what extent is humor used as a tool throughout Wonder to diffuse difficult or tense situations, or to convey a part of the story that would otherwise be depressing or sad? Look at the chapter, ‘How I Came To Life’.

7. Via
What did you think of Via as a character? Did you empathize with her?
Why do you think Via was so angry to learn that Auggie cut off his Padawan braid?
Do you think Via’s own attitude towards her brother changes throughout the story?

8.  Mrs. Albans
Look at the emails between Mr. Tushman, Julian’s parents and Jack’s parents in the chapter ‘Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts’. Up to this point in the story we have seen how the children at Auggie’s school have reacted to him. Is Mrs. Albans’ attitude towards Auggie different?

What do you make of her statement that Auggie is handicapped?

Do you think she is correct in saying that asking ‘ordinary’ children, such as Julian, to befriend Auggie places a burden on them?

9.  At the ice cream parlor:
The author has explained that she was inspired to write Wonder after an experience at a local ice cream parlor, very similar to the scene described in the chapter ‘Carvel’, where Jack sees Auggie for the first time. In this scene, Jack’s babysitter Veronica chooses to get up and quickly walk Jack and his little brother Jamie away from Auggie, rather than risk Jamie saying something rude or hurtful. What do you think you would have done, if put in that position?

"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world."  —Auggie Pullman

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"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."
—Dr. Wayne Dyer

"Your deeds are your monuments." —Inscription on ancient Egyptian tomb

"Have no friends not equal to yourself." —Confucius

"Fortune favors the bold." —Virgil

"No man is an island, entire of itself." —John Donne

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
—James Thurber

"Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much." —Blaise Pascal

"What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful." —Sappho

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." —John Wesley

"Just follow the day and reach for the sun." —The Polyphonic Spree

The Precepts
(rules to live by)


Comment Stream

3 years ago

When I first read the title and the quote on the cover of the book I was intrigued and ready to start reading. My AIG students read this book on their Nooks and they were hooked. I feel really sorry for August and I sympathize with him while I read. Back in 2004, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. I was about to starts my sophomore year at ECU. When school started back I had just finished all of my chemo treatments and I was bald. I remember going to class; some in big auditoriums and others in smaller settings. I could feel the same stares that August speaks about. It was also really hard for me to join collaborative groups because I could tell oriole didn't want to join my group. I knew that my condition was temporary; however, August's condition will last a lifetime. I am really not sure how I would feel if I were him. At the end of part 2 Via tells August that he has to go back to school and not let these mean kids bother him. I agree with her and I feel however, I also know that it's much easier said than done.

3 years ago

August has to find it within himself to accept himself the way he is and once he accepts that I feel that other people will accept him as well. He has to be brave and take initiative in his life and learning.

3 years ago

Wonder is such a fantastic book. You are immediately hooked and you race through the pages because you can imagine how August is feeling and you "wonder" what is going the happen next. I fell in love with Auggie and at once, I wanted to stand beside him and encourage him to overcome. I look forward to every time I am able to sit down with the book. Can't wait to see how it ends.

3 years ago

The line, "Don't judge a boy by his face" was intriguing but I think as teachers we have often jumped this hurdle because we are faced with some many different faces, situations and handicaps that we are able to look upon people with compassion. I think as time goes on and you experience these different situations, you are able to look at people without preconceived ideas, even if you have heard things about them from others. I consciously try to make people feel good in their skin and I try to look on their heart. This is not because it comes completely naturally, but because I have learned a few lessons along to the way about judgement. When you really listen to people and desire to learn things about them in a deep way, I feel their looks are the last thing you look at. I am not oblivious to the world and what people in general look at, but I feel I would have embraced Auggie's presence like many of the characters in the book did. Like his mother, I would have seen his beautiful brown eyes.

3 years ago

I love how the book is written in various character perspectives. I was especially connected to the Via chapter. I emphasized with her fully. Having to be the older sister and in many situations have to fend for herself because of Auggie's various issues; would be tough for any child. You can tell that she loves her brother very much but is able to candidly share that sometimes she resents him. In spite of her feelings, Via supports Auggie and wants him to succeed. I think Via's chapter is a beautiful representation of love and growth through difficult times.

3 years ago

The line in the book that made me the most emotional was, "I think there should be a rule that everyone gets at least one standing ovation in their lifetime." It makes me think I may be a child's only standing ovation and I must do my best to make them feel that way. Maybe I can inspire them to get even more than one. <3

3 years ago
3 years ago

Love this.

3 years ago

One of the parts that spoke to me the most was at the end during the graduation ceremony when Mr. Tushman is giving his speech. He says " If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary-the world would be a better place. And if you do this...someone, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you the face of God."

3 years ago

This book was so good. I would have to say it is one of my favorites. I love how the book is written by the different characters. It really helps to understand each characters point of view and you can begin to understand why the characters act the way that they do. I would find myself being mad or disappointed in the way a character felt and then I would begin to understand their side after I would read their section. I love Mr. Brown's precepts. My favorite was "When given the choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind". Nothing ever gives us the right to be ugly or mean to anyone. This quote tells me that being kind is the right thing to do.