We’re Big Wonder Fans!
Z and I both read Wonder over the summer and fell in love with Auggie, his family, and the characters that R.J. Palacio created in her New York Times Best Seller.
It really hit home for me on a personal level because not only do I have a special needs child, but I also have hearing aids. When Auggie describes his experience of getting hearing aids for the first time and hearing the white noise become quiet I knew exactly what he was talking about. I’ve experienced that! The part about genetics was really insightful too and describes our situation well in terms of deafness.
Z really loved the book and it’s perfect for his age group (he is 10). A lot of people have asked me about if there is any questionable material for younger children. There were a couple things in the book and movie that involve a tiny bit of kissing (the older sister and her boyfriend) or a secular worldview implying that what we experience is all because of the universe. None of it was heavy or pushy at all, but if you are really sensitive to stuff like that, as I can be, it’s nice to know about it ahead of time. Also, the book talks briefly about girls who are flat. It was so subtle I wasn’t even sure if they were referring to girls chests or not, but it is in there. Nothing shocking I can assure you!
We loved the book so much Z was the one that begged me to check out Auggie and Me.
Wonder is written from different perspectives throughout the book. Auggie and Me is not a sequel but it gives more side stories that are related to the book. I personally LOVED Auggie and Me. Julian’s story was incredible. It was so heartfelt and deep. I won’t give any spoilers but it brought up some great discussions for Z and I. Some of the parts he brushed over and didn’t really get as emotional about allowed me to explain to him what happened in this part of our world’s history, why it was so horrific and why we need to remember the lives lost.
Okay, next up is Wonder Boy.
When I saw that 20/20 was doing a segment about a real boy that had the same kind of cranial deformities as Auggie I knew I wanted Z to see it. I warned him that while the movie was fake and made up by Hollywood costumes and makeup, the disorder is real and this is what it really looks like to be impacted by it. The show was extremely touching and informative. I learned a lot from watching it and if you have some kind of cable provider you can still watch the segment online. It is really good!
Lastly, Z and I had our annual mother-son outing on Sunday. We’ve been counting down the days until we could see Wonder on the big screen.
I’ll be honest, the whole movie from start to finish was one giant tear fest for me.
I cried probably a dozen times. I don’t think other people will cry that much but it really affected me. The very first part is about Auggie going to mainstream school for the first time in his life and how nervous his mom is. In just 9 months I am going to be in that same position sending SJ to mainstream school for the first time in her life, so that scene hit me like a ton of bricks. I did laugh throughout the movie too and I clapped at the end with the rest of the audience in our theater. Z and I both agree that the book is better because there is just no way to cover all the material from the book in two hours. In fact, the hearing aids are one of the things they cut out. It was still a good representation of the book though. They stayed true to the original story.
At the end of the movie Auggie is graduating and his parents (played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) are sitting in the crowd. Z leaned over to me during this part and says Hey! There is the author! I turned toward him a little bothered that he was interrupting another crying scene. What? I whispered back. It’s RJ Palacio in the movie! Z said pointing to the screen. Then I saw her too. I was impressed that Z picked up on that. R.J. Palacio’s photo is in the back of the book and she is interviewed in the 20/20 segment, but I would have never noticed her cameo appearance.
So I googled it later and wouldn’t you know I can not find a single shred of evidence that the author of Wonder makes a cameo appearance in the movie. But check out these pictures and tell me that’s not her!
If it’s not her, then it’s a look-alike that’s for sure!
Between book one, book two, the Wonder Boy and the movie, I think it is evident that we are pretty big Wonder fans. When my other kids are a little older I plan to introduce it to them too!