April 3rd. I hope you're all fine and well and have recovered nicely
from April Fools' Day. Wondering where April Fools' Day originated? In
the 1500s, we started using the Gregorian calendar, which meant the New
Year moved from April 1 to Jan. 1. People who didn't make the transition
were called . . . April Fools! For more April Fools' Day trivia, you
can visit here.
And now onto more fun and important things. Our book reviews! Be sure to click through the links under my review. They'll take you to everyone else's reviews. Happy reading!
Two weeks ago, my 12 y.o. daughter, my RELUCTANT READER, sighed, closed this book and set it on our coffee table. "This is the best book I've read in my whole life," she said.
When I asked her what it was about WONDER that she loved, she answered, "It's just like my day, just like middle school. It's all so true. These characters are real people to me."
Whew. You can probably figure out what happened next. I put her to bed, picked up WONDER and began reading. And kept on reading. Because this is one gem of a book.
In a nutshell: Ten-year-old Auggie (August) Pullman attends school for the first time. Up until now he's been homeschooled because of his facial deformity. "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." Auggie just wants to be seen as an ordinary kid. This, of course, is impossible because he's extarordinary. Going to school changes Auggie's world and changes the world of many around him. The book is told from several perspectives: Auggie, a couple of his classmates, his high-school sister, his sister's boyfriend, an estranged friend of his sister's.
Particular to this book: The writing is beautiful. Beautiful. I actually cried a couple of times. Because, just as my daughter said, these characters were real people to me. I think a lot of this is due to the multiple perspectives. All of which were in first person, present tense, which brings the characters even closer to the reader. According to my daughter's' book report, WONDER is about "courage, friendship and being yourself."
We wholeheartedly recommend this book. Apparently, a lot of people feel the same way as WONDER was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
Here's the link to the author's website. Look under FAQs for what inspired the author to write this story.
Oh, and, R.J. Palacio? Thank you for writing WONDER, a book that my reluctant reader fell in love with.
Without further ado, here are the links to AMAZING AND THOUGHTFUL reviews! You don't want to miss them.
MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Stacy Nyikos: ALIENS ON VACATION by Clete Barrett Smith (middle grade)
Sarah Laurence: JUST ONE DAY by Gail Forman (young adult, contemporary)
Linda McLaughlin: LADY OF DEVICES: A STEAMPUNK ADVENTURE NOVEL by Shelly Adina
(young adult, steampunk)
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer R. Hubbard (young adult)
ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Patti Abbott: BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter
Stacy of The Cat's Meow: LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson (literary)
Staci of Life in the Thumb: WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY by Wendy Wax (women's lit)
Scott Parker: LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S. A. Corey (science fiction)
Linda McLaughlin: SOULLESS by Gail Carriger (steampunk)
NON-FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Beth Yarnall: HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Frank M. Ahearn
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: CLIMATE MYTHS by Dr. John J. Berger
NUMBER CROSS PUZZLES by Rich Rollo (for adults + kids)
Jody Feldman: BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD - AND STEAL - THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON
by Steve Sheinkin (young adult)
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!