Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Off My Bookshelf: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Who is beautiful? Who is ugly? Is beauty found on the face or in the heart? What about ugliness? Isn't ugliness of the heart much worse than any physical deformity?

Wonder takes us through the fifth grade year of a severely deformed boy, August. It is his first year not being home-schooled, and the adjustment is torturous for him and those who love him. He encounters those who fear him and those who hate him simply because of how he looks. Yet August finds strength from within himself and from the friendships of others.

How do we relate to the unlovely? Reading Wonder caused me to take a hard, deep look into my own heart. What have been my reactions to those with special needs or those who are not "normal"? I have to say I have not been proud of what has been revealed to me about my heart and my behavior.

A few of my favorite quotes from Wonder:

"Jack, sometimes you don't have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone." pg.137

"You don't need your eyes to love, right? You just feel it inside you. That's how it is in heaven. It's just love, and no one forgets who they love." pg.227

"And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God." pg.301

"'Greatness,' wrote Beecher, (Henry Ward Beecher), 'lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength... He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts...'" pg.304

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