Q & A with 9-Year-Old Zoella: “Wonder” by RJ Palacio

By: Jenny Gardner

Wonder by RJ Palacio was an interesting read. There were parts I loved and others that didn’t quite hit the spot. However, this story was not completely geared towards me. Therefore, today, you will hear a review of Wonder from a 9 year old’s perspective. Beware, there may be spoilers below!!

My 9 year old, Zoella, answered a few questions about the novel.

Q: How would you describe this story to someone who has never heard of Wonder or August Pullman before?

A: “This kid named Auggie has this face disorder, but the rest of his body is fine. Another kid named Julian pretends to be nice to him around the teachers, and mean when teachers aren’t around. This is Auggie’s first year going to real school with other kids his age, not being homeschooled. Auggie came across a lot of bullies in the book Wonder, but he had backup from friends (like Jack and Summer, etc.). At the end of the school year, there was an award ceremony, and he got an award for kindness, courage, friendship, and character.”

Q: Did you like the style of the book being told from different perspectives?

A: “Yes, because different perspectives showed how people think different things. Auggie’s point of view is different from Via’s and Justin’s, and Jack’s, and Julian’s, and Summer’s, and we get to see all of them. “

Q: What was the overall theme of the story ?

A: “Don’t judge others by the way they look. In real life, bullies bully how people dress and look, which is not part of the book, but it’s a good lesson that comes from the book.”

Q: What made you contemplate the most during the novel?

A: “Every time Julian was a bully, I wondered what turned him into a bully. What goes on in his personal life?”

Q: Which part gave you the strongest emotions?

A: “When their pet went to sleep and passed away at the vet in the dad’s arms. They put him down to not let him suffer.”

Q: If you could only pick one person to meet from this story who would it be?

A: “Via, Auggie’s older sister, because she is most like me. We would make good friends.”

Q: If you could change anything in the novel, what would that be?

A: “The attitude of the person who bullies Auggie–Julian. I would change Julian for him not to be a bully.”

Q: Could you imagine being August Pullman?

A: “I can’t, but I feel like it would be hard because of the bullies and all the surgeries he had to go through.”

Q: Why do you think it’s called Wonder?

A: “Because he is super special. 1 out of like 5 million people can be like him, and he survived it. Not a lot of kids do, but he made it into 6th grade, including all the surgeries. He is lucky and unlucky. He is lucky and super special because he survived, but unlucky because he has a face disorder from it.”

Q: What would you say to convince someone to read this book?

A: “It’s cool. It’s an interesting book, because you learn a lesson from it. It’s cool how the author saw someone with this disorder and made an AWESOME book based on that meeting.”

There you have it! My 9 year old, Zoe, enjoyed this book. We have already delved into the companion novel, adding 3 new tales for a more in-depth look into the tale.

Wonder is a foray into how children interact with those who are different, the influence parents and life experiences have on those interactions, and how they are able to overcome hardship. It further explores the interactions and emotions when diving past an awkward first encounter or a broken friendship.

Each character’s narration is unique and distinguishable from the previous. It is clear who is speaking in each section. For young readers, Justin’s section is a tad hard to read without most punctuation and capitalization included. It is clear why the author chose this method, but it was a harder section to get through for a nine year old.

Overall, RJ Palacio created an intriguing journey into the world of August Pullman.

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