Monday, July 16, 2012
Isn't that a line from some movie?
My female friends tell me that the notion of being a "good person" is strictly a guy thing.
Evidently, women don't think in those terms. Is that true? If so, I guess it'll be lost on the fairer sex when I proclaim that Wonder makes me want to be a better man.
Wonder, the powerful first novel written by R. J. Palacio, is one of those books that changes the way you see the world.
The publisher's description reads, "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 and ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?"
For the past two years I had a child in my class with facial deformities that often took strangers by surprise. Their audible gasps and sympathetic glances signaled that he was not an ordinary kid. But like Auggie's family I saw this boy for who he was. His talents, his academic strengths and weaknesses, his stubborn personality, his mischievous side, the anticipatory glint he got in his eye when he was waiting for me to chase him on the playground, his frustrations and his incredible strength. He soldiers on no matter the obstacles.
In the book Auggie has a teacher who believes in him. It seems that this is the character I should most associate with. However, the character who resonates most is Auggie's sister's boyfriend.
This guy questions the world. He struggles to come to terms with injustices and then has an epiphany which leads to the most beautiful understanding of what it means to be human. It is a dynamic, moving piece of writing. That alone is worth the investment.
I hope one day I can contribute something this gorgeous to the world.