Wonder Book Summary, by R. J. Palacio

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1-Page Summary of Wonder

Overview

A boy named August Pullman was born with a facial deformity. He has always been homeschooled, but his parents have decided to put him in public school. They take him to meet the principal of the private school where he’ll be attending and they’re introduced to some kids who will be in his grade. One boy, Jack Will, is nice, but another one named Julian is rude.

Auggie settles into his new school and makes a few friends. He also gets teased by other kids, but he feels like it’s just something that happens in middle school. Eventually, the teasing stops after everyone gets used to Auggie’s face. On Halloween, Auggie overhears Jack say that if he looked like Auggie, he would kill himself. However, Jack is unaware of this because Auggie was wearing a costume at the time.

The story switches to Via, Auggie’s older sister. She starts middle school at the same time that Auggie begins high school. Unlike her brother, she doesn’t get much attention from their parents and is often pushed aside in favor of him. Grans was the only person who put her first before she died.

Via is struggling with her social life, since she no longer has any friends. Her mother seems more concerned about Auggie’s day than hers. Via feels neglected and becomes a loner at school. She joins another group of kids who are not as good as the old ones but also not as bad either. On Halloween, Auggie comes home early claiming to be sick and refuses to go trick or treating with his sister. He reveals that he was bullied by Jack last year on Halloween which caused him to get sent away for a month in summer camp for therapy and counseling sessions after the incident occurred again this year. Via convinces him that he must move past such dilemmas so that bullies won’t affect his future happiness and success at school because there will always be mean people around even if you don’t want them there; they just simply exist like germs floating around us all the time waiting to infect someone else’s existence when given an opportunity through our own actions towards them (bullying).

Summer is Auggie’s new friend. She doesn’t want to hang out with him because Mr. Tushman told her to, but she wants to be his friend anyway. They become friends right away and their families get along as well. Summer eventually realizes that Jack was the one who hurt Auggie by saying something mean about him at school, so she tells Jack what he said, but not before giving him a clue: “Bleeding Scream.”

The next section is told from Jack’s perspective. He remembers when Mr. Tushman first asked him to be friends with Auggie, and he was surprised by how different Auggie looked in comparison to other students at the private school they attended, especially since his family did not have a lot of money.

Jack is sorry that he got caught up in the social dynamics of his grade. He wants to be friends with Auggie, but Julian tells him that it’s not worth it. Jack gets angry and punches Julian in the face, which starts a series of apology letters involving Mr. Tushman and Jack, as well as Jack and Auggie. Eventually they make up again after winter break, but when they return to school there is a war against them because most of their classmates are on Julians side.

The story then switches to Via’s boyfriend, Justin. He has just met Auggie and is amazed at how perfect the Pullman family seems in comparison to his own broken-up family. Since he enjoys spending time with them, he also gets cast as a lead in their school play, Our Town. Via’s old friend Miranda gets the female lead role while she will be an understudy for her role.

Wonder Book Summary, by R. J. Palacio
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