This week I’ve been reading Raquel Palacio’s Wonder.
It’s not the usual type of book that I’d go for but I came across a copy and thought, seeing as it received such sensational reviews, that I should at least give it a go.
I have to say that it took me a while to get into it at the beginning: I found the American-teen style of language rather irritating and difficult to see past. I know that is it written from the point of view of American children and teenagers but I felt that a little more sophistication in the style wouldn’t have gone amiss. Also, the novel is written from the point of view of several different characters but there is very little difference in the style of language of each one. I found this rather frustrating as it is unrealistic for everyone to speak with the same style and tone. However, I’m just an old stickler for beautiful language and obviously not the writer’s intended audience.
Once I managed to move past my issues with the language and get into the story, I found it rather gripping. With very short chapters, many less than a page long, and lots of Dickens style cliff-hangers, the book is easy to read and difficult to put down.
I found the story and subject matter somewhat moving and will admit that I even shed the odd tear throughout. Palacio tackles some very difficult subjects in a delicate and empathetic way and creates a motivational, inspirational story without making it too saccharin.
I appreciate that this is a book that deals with issues not usually broached in children’s novels and I commend Palacio for taking the challenge on and with such a sensitive and captivating story.
I feel that if all children would read a book like this, the adults of the future would be far more compassionate and understanding than we are today.