This weekend, the family and I went to see Wonder. This is a book I read four years ago and loved.
I had this to say about it:
"When I say that that books like this one have the power to change the world it is because of the opportunity the reader has to gain so much in the way of compassion and empathy. The value of reading is in learning to see the world through someone else's eyes and that can easily be done here. August's voice is clearly that of a ten-year-old boy. Any young reader can feel what he feels and any older reader can remember that age and also knows that sometimes we all feel like a ten-year-old."
I loved this book for the potential it has to cause a shift in the way people think, they way they behave. And I loved the way this book showed that just because people are mean is no excuse to not be kind. I've read, over the years since I was first introduced to this book, where people take great offense at this book. They claim that it turns a boy into a freak show, something to be stared at and then to walk away and be grateful we aren't in his shoes. When I first learned about this point of view, it made me uncomfortable. Was that what I was doing?
No, I decided. No, I wasn't.
What I find admirable about Auggie isn't that he looks different from everyone else and still perseveres. Certainly he is brave, but what I find most commendable is his ability to maintain his kindness and forgiveness in the face of the unkindness of others. This is a lesson we can all learn. And what I love about this book is the opportunity for people to see that their words and actions have meaning, that they make an impact on the people around them, whether for good or ill.
Very rarely does a film adaptation leave me with no complaints. This movie accomplishes what all readers hope for their favorite books. It brings the beauty of the written word to life without losing the beloved spirit of the story. This movie is well worth your time and will not disappoint. Fair warning: Bring tissues.