Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

Way back in 2013 when I read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, I said that I hoped there would NEVER be a movie made from this book. Why? Because there is NO way. EVER. to capture the feelings, attitudes, and emotions from this book. No way. There is no way that a movie could ever live up to my expectations for this book. And part of what made it so good was that your mental picture of what Auggie looked like was so important. If the character’s face on the movie screen didn’t live up to what you saw mentally, would it be as good?
Well, here we are now in 2017, and they did make a movie. Tough choice! Do I go or do I not go? My husband actually made the choice for me by purchasing tickets. So I went. Begrudgingly, I may add. Or, maybe hesitantly. So, you may ask, “What was the verdict?” Surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed the film! Keep in mind that I read the book over four years ago now, so it’s been long enough for me to forget all the little details, but I think they did a great job of capturing the feeling and emotion of the book. Does it have all those little details? No, it doesn’t, but I did not leave feeling let down or disappointed. I left feeling inspired and uplifted. I feel like they captured the most memorable moments in the book that I remember, and that overall they did a very good job. Was it perfect? No, and if you read the book yesterday you may have a very different opinion, but overall, I was impressed! The acting was really good; I was skeptical about Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson together, but I think they did well together. And Jacob Tremblay, who played Auggie, did an excellent job! Was it as good as the book? Nope, it wasn’t, but it was well done, and I would recommend it. It’s inspirational, and it has the morals, lessons, and attitudes that made the book so good. We definitely need more media like this! 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your opinions of the movie and the book! Please comment below!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
First Place!!!!
Wonder movie poster
Second Place

[Book Review] Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Photo Credit: Goodreads.com



R.J. Palacio


“August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school–until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?”

My Review:

My friend recommended this book to me. She teaches fifth grade at the local elementary school, and my son will be in her class next year. She just went on and on about how much she loved this book. I convinced my book group to read it this month so I knew I would make time for it. My friend was right…..this is an amazing book! I loved it! I love Ms. Palacio’s writing style. It is easy to read, flows well, and the characters’ voices are very individualized and personal. Her character development is wonderful. Auggie is such a great character. He is so strong, yet so real. You see his brave and not-so-brave moments, and he has such a positive attitude. I felt for Auggie’s parents as well. What a tough decision it would be to send him to school. Jack, Summer, and Via were all characters that had their tough moments, but shone through in the end. There was also some humor in the book that helped take away some of the tension and heavier moments. This book is full of morals and teaching moments. It’s amazing. Bullying, friendship, loving despite differences, words do hurt, standing up for friends, no matter how hard your life is–there is always someone who has it harder, and  having a positive attitude are just a few of them. EVERY fifth grade student should read this book!!! It should be available in every fifth grade classroom (in my humble opinion). The lessons the kids in the book learned will stay with them forever. If more people acted like them (them at the end of the book….not the beginning) the world would be a different place. 
The chapter written from Via’s boyfriend’s point of view drove me crazy; there were no capital letters. Fortunately, his words and actions made up for it. The side story of Via and her friend Miranda didn’t really need to be in the book, but I guess it just showed Miranda’s love for Auggie never died, and that deep down Miranda never really changed. I can’t remember any language in the book. There are some scenes that are a little violent with fights, mean words, and bullies. This would be a great book to read with your kids or students. It could be the start of some great discussions and projects. I highly recommend this book!
Rating: PG (Minor violence with fights, mean words, and bullies)
Recommendation: Fourth to Fifth grade and up (about 9-10 years-old)