Friday, November 24, 2017

A Must See Movie: Wonder (Updated with Book Review)

My husband suggested we go see this family movie and showed me the trailer which got my interest.  We saw it Thanksgiving morning and both loved it!  I was impressed with the cast, the multiple story lines and the insight into human nature that is portrayed in this film which is based on a book written by R. J. Palacio.

It is about Auggie who was born with lots of problems including some facial deformity that surgery couldn't fix.  Halloween is his favorite holiday because he can wear a mask and fit it like everyone else that day.  He wants so much to look ordinary so little kids are not afraid of him and other kids his age would quit being mean to him because of how he looks.  His parents ache for him to get out into the world and have a normal life but do not want to see him get hurt.  His sister loves him very much but feels her parents don't have time for her because their world seems to revolve around Auggie.

I really liked all the characters in this one and was so happy when Auggie finally became comfortable without the helmet on all the time because he was making some friends.  This has lots of great moments and is both heartwarming, inspirational and very relevant.  Many people tear up on this one; you can't help but feel for the kid.  The theme is to choose to be kind to others regardless of how they look but to also realize everyone is a wonder.  This is a wonderful movie and I look forward to reading the book because usually the book is even better than the movie.

If you've seen this, share one of your favorite scenes in the comments.  If you haven't seen it, go see it!

In this case, I enjoyed the movie more than the book, but the book was good too.  Here is my review of the book:  Wonder by R. J. Palacio is about Auggie’s fifth grade year, a boy with a deformed face who was homeschooled through 4th grade. Auggie has a rough start at the beginning of middle school, but shows courage and determination by not quitting. This is an emotional read that includes perspectives from several different characters. Themes in this are bullying, friendship and family. This book has photos from the movie, comments from those involved in making the movie and discussion questions in the back.

Teaser from page 227 after Auggie’s dog just died: And I wondered how it would feel to be in heaven someday and not have my face matter anymore. Just like it never, ever mattered to Daisy.

There are a lot of feelings brought out in this book, but the movie really brought it to life for me. In this case, I liked the movie better than the book. It changed just a few minor things and emphasized the teacher’s role more than the book did. I liked the changes that were made in the movie. The theme I carried away from reading the book is to be kinder than necessary and make the world a better place. I recommend this book to kids and the movie to everyone!  (4 stars)

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