Miracles by RJ Palacio –
If you click on a link, we will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through that link. Regardless of affiliate status, we never recommend anything that we don’t think could be useful for educators. You can read more about our Affiliate Policy here.
Wonder by RJ Palace
grade level: 5-7
lexical level: 790L
miracle book genre: fiction
subjects: empathy, disabilities, friendship, the power of kindness, identity, growing up, coming of age, bullying, identity, parenting and leadership
Miracles by RJ Palacio Summary
Wonder is a novel by New York bestseller RJ Palacio that tells the story of August Pullman, a little boy who was born with a different facial expression. Auggie’s parents shielded him from the stares and humiliation that might come with going to public school, but when he enters fifth grade at Beecher Prep, he’s faced with challenges he’s never faced before. Though he desires nothing more than to fit in and be treated like any other kid at school, his classmates can’t help but stare at his extraordinary face, unsure how to react or accept him for who he is .
Refusing to let his physical characteristics define him, Auggie strives each day to prove himself both academically and socially, though he encounters obstacles along the way. Tackling difficult issues like bullying and self-acceptance, this inspiring story shows us that even in situations where people struggle with acceptance, there is always hope for something better when we choose love over fear. Palacio has written an unforgettable novel filled with heartfelt moments, depicting life’s challenges of being different and exploring what courage really looks like in the face of adversity.
Auggie is a hero for the ages, one who proves you can’t conform when you’re born to stand out.
Book: Miracles by RJ Palacio
wonder book characters
Auggie (August) Pullman is ten years old. He loves Xbox, loves his dog Daisy and he really loves Star Wars. His favorite character is Jango Fett, and he used to have a little braid in mind like a Padawan Jedi apprentice. His favorite holiday is Halloween and his birthday is October 10th.
Auggie has had twenty-seven surgeries — some big, some small — and he has some medical mysteries that doctors still haven’t solved. All of this comes from a specific gene. His parents and sister Via also carry the gene, but only Auggie shows it.
The way he looks makes people stare, which is what he’s used to. It also makes it hard for him to hear (but he has new hearing aids that make a big difference), and sometimes it’s hard to tell when he’s smiling. Due to his surgeries, Auggie was homeschooled for a long time, but went to Beecher Prep in fifth grade, where he made many new friends.
He smiles a lot now.
Also see: Books similar to Wonder
Via (Olivia) Pullman is Auggie’s older sister and a freshman at Faulkner High School. She sometimes feels that she is not as important to her family as Auggie is, especially since Grans, her grandmother and one of Via’s favorite people, has passed away. She is frustrated at times at being referred to as Auggie’s sister rather than Via, but she is also very protective of her brother and is a great sister and friend to him.
Jack Will is one of Auggie’s first friends at Beecher Prep. He and Auggie have six classes together: Classroom, English, History, Computers, Music, and Science. Jack dislikes school except for some classes, like physical education and computer classes. And lunch and break. But having August in so many classes makes it easier because they often make each other laugh in class. His first name is Jack and his last name is Will, but many people call him Jack Will as if that were all his first name.
Summer Dawson is popular, but she doesn’t always do what the other popular girls do. She’s sitting at lunch with Auggie on his first day of school, and they realized their names kinda go together because they’re both summer names. They only have one class together, English, but they eat lunch together every day and meet up a lot after school. One of her favorite sayings is “cool beans,” which is also a great way to describe her.
See also 30 of the best books to teach kids empathy
Julian Albans is one of Auggie’s biggest obstacles at Beecher Prep. He is rude to Auggie, making other children feel like they should be too. He’s an only child and cares deeply about his popularity at school, which is one of the reasons he was so mean to Auggie. After spending the summer in Paris with his grandmere, he feels bad for treating Auggie during the school year. He apologizes and decides to enroll in a new sixth grade school for a fresh start.
Charlotte Cody is one of the smartest kids in her class, which makes many other kids think she’s a good pair of shoes. She loves theater and dancing and has two sisters and a puppy named Suki who her family adopted from a shelter. She’s friendly and doesn’t take sides in school, and she might have a crush on Jack Will.
Christopher Blake had been Auggie’s best friend since they were little, so he was there for all of Auggie’s surgeries. Three years ago, he moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, more than an hour from North River Heights, where Auggie lives. They don’t see each other very often now, but they chat online. Christopher plays guitar in the after school rock band. Like Auggie, Christopher is obsessed with Star Wars and both dream of one day going into space and visiting Pluto.
Miranda Navas and Auggie’s sister Via have known each other since first grade, so she’s known Auggie since he was a baby. Because of the astronaut helmet that Auggie liked to wear, she and Auggie sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity together the whole time. Her parents divorced the summer before high school started, and she and Via aren’t as close as they used to be.
Justin is Via’s friend. He plays violin in a zydeco band that plays Louisiana Creole music (but Justin is from Brooklyn). His parents are divorced and he has an older half brother, but they are not very close. He loves being around the Pullman family.
Source: Official Wonder website
“Miracle” film adaptation
On November 17, 2016, Lionsgate released a film adaptation of “Wonder,” directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Steve Conrad, and starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as Isabel and Nate Pullman, respectively, and Jacob Tremblay as August Pullman.
Wonder, a book by RJ Palacio: a good book for middle school students