March 19, 2013

Inner beauty

by R.J. Palacio

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a real school. But now that he's stronger and needs no further surgery for the next few years, his parents want him to try middle school. Auggie's pretty nervous, but he decides to give it a try. He knows it will be hard. And it is. Kids don't want to sit next to him or even touch him. They say mean things. But other kids are kind and are able to see beyond the surface. Little by little, it all get better, until the inspiring finish.

Palacio writes from the point of view of multiple characters - August, his sister Via, friend Summer, classmate Jack, Via's boyfriend, and Via's ex-friend Miranda. Their words reveal a wealth of fears, hopes and dreams, and their struggles for acceptance. Through it all, there is August - what he means to each of them and how he helps them become better people.

A beautiful novel that illuminates the nature of human beings - fragile imperfections and all.

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