Wonder By: R.J. Palacio
Because of his physical birth defects, August (Auggie) Pullman has struggled to make friends and have a semi-normal life until his parents make the huge decision to send him to public school. Throughout his time at Beacher Prep Middle School, Auggie has to deal with people staring at him, bullies, and some fake friends that leave August distraught. Most of the kids were afraid to touch him, talk to him, or sit anywhere near him at lunch and in class. It’s tough to be in the fifth grade, especially when you look different from everyone else, and are an easy target for the bullies.
I thought that the author, R.J. Palacio, did a great job describing the struggles and hardships that August went through, and explaining how he’s a normal kid, not anything wrong with his brain, he just doesn’t have any outer ears, and his face may or may not look like its melting in a way. He also did a wonderful job of explaining his life, and how Beacher Prep really learned to love Auggie for who he was, not for his looks, by the end of the story. It’s a book you just can’t put down because of the sometimes suspenseful, sad, and funny writing style you won’t be able to get enough of. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio will take you on a journey of what it’s like to be different from everyone else, and I guarantee this book will leave hanging on every chapter, dying to know what happens next. I really liked this book, and I promise you will too.
The Penderwicks By: Jeanne Birdsall
Four lively, creative girls go on vacation with their single father to a cute cottage in the Berkshire Mountains. Together, they go on many adventures, and narrowly escape the clutches of snooty Mrs. Tifton, the owner of Arundel Hall and their cottage. Although they were off to a bad start, Mrs. Tifton’s son, Jeffery, eventually becomes one of the Penderwick’s favorite friends. With their mother being deceased, the four sisters stick together during hard times. Rosalind, the oldest, is responsible and polite, Skye is outgoing and a troublemaker, Jane is imaginative and creative, and little Batty is cute and sweet. A hint of romance with the estate gardener, Cagney, and a garden competition gone wrong all tie in together to create a summer the Penderwicks will never forget. I would recommend this book for being suspenseful, adventurous, and romantic. This book is one that you will not want to stop reading, but will also laugh at the mishaps the sisters get themselves into. This book is good for readers who like suspense and mystery, and where you can’t predict what will happen next, but you want to read on. Also, this book tells about the many adventures the Penderwicks go on with Jeffrey, and how they help him out. Lastly, readers will find that there is a little romance between Rosalind and Cagney, and little four year old Batty with Jeffrey! If you appreciate books with these genres, this paperback is an excellent choice. It is around 200 to 300 pages; not too long, not too short. If you finish this book and yearn for more Penderwick adventures, there are more! There are two more books in the companion series, and they share more of their unforgettable journeys. Overall, I think this book is a well written, outstanding work of literature that will touch your hearts and leave you feeling happy and content.
Ashley Myers is 12 year old, and loves to Irish Dance.
Eleanor Dalsass is 12 years old and loves to dance and read.