Cheers Book Club…..Wonder

Title : Wonder

Author : R.J. Palacio

Year of Publication : 2012

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Penguin Random House

wonder book - Cheers Book Club…..Wonder

This book is an emotional read. Especially the early chapters when you are just being introduced to August and his challenging life. As a matter of fact, I listened to the book and listening to the August (Auggie) character narrate his innermost feelings broke my heart numerous times in the early chapters of the book.

 

Lessons from Wonder

“When given the choice of being right or being kind….choose kind”

  • Adversity builds character : By fifth grade August had gone through twenty seven surgeries. Can you imagine that? Clearly, by the fifth major surgery he must have developed a different attitude to life from us “mere mortals”. You hear it in his narrative. First of all, he seems to have embraced the initial look of horror on peoples face upon meeting him for the first time. He also has less expectations of  niceness from people. It is impressive if you ask me, a ten year old who is mostly indifferent towards other people’s acceptance.
  • The Apple does not fall far from the tree : Julian, the most unpleasant character in the book seemed to take after his mother. His mom was rumored to have photo-shoped August’s face from the class photograph. Well, we can not be surprised by Julian’s behavior through the book.

“Shall we make a new rule of life, always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?”

                                                                                                           J.M Barrie

  • Peer pressure is so lame : August’s early day at Beecher Prep  was challenging to say the least. This was partly because the so called “cool kids” managed to turn the other pupils of the school against him. Interestingly, most of these pupils   would not interact with Auggie for the fear of losing their other friends or because they we specifically asked not to by Julian and Co. Similarly, we like to think peer pressure is unique to younger people. Unfortunately, adults are not immune to peer pressure. Parents of pupils in Beecher Prep also seemed to have formed groups that mimicked that of their kids.
  • Being mistreated in some situations is really normal : News flash people, we live in a mean world and humans can be mean a lot of times. Expecting to be pampered and cuddled through life is in itself a desire to be treated abnormally.

“It was at moments such as these that Joseph recognized the face of God in human form. It glimmered in their kindness to him, it glowed in their keenness, it hinted in their caring, indeed it caressed in their gaze.”

                                                                                                   Christopher Nolan

  • Common enemies breed Unity: The turning point for Auggie was at camp. A group of boys from another school picked on him. Instinctively, the guys from his school gathered around him to fight of the bullies. Even those that were not particularly nice to Auggie stood up for him and henceforth they were friendlier with him. Having noted the above, it should be mentioned that such phenomenon is not unique. Lovers grow a stronger bound when faced with opposition and people rally around each other t fend of stronger adversities.

 

The Movie

wonder movie - Cheers Book Club…..Wonder

Staring : Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy      Patinkin .

Release Date: November 17, 2017.

Producers : Michael Beugg, Dan Clarke, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman.

Director : Stephen Chbosky .

Production Company : Lionsgate, Walden Media, Participant Media, Mandeville Films .

 

Having seen the movie trailer, one cannot object to Jacob Tremblay playing August Pullman. His previous works are a testament to his talent. He was  not scary enough I thought though. In a my previous life, I have worked with physically deformed people so I am  probably desensitized to their somewhat challenging look.

Owen Wilson  is a great cast as the father. In the book, Nate Pullman (August’s Dad) is lighthearted and the funniest person in the house.  Owen  just seems perfect for the part.

Julia Roberts plays Isabel Pullman (Auggie’s Mom). Needless to say she is going to do the role justice. However, I am yet to see Julia Roberts speak in a foreign accent, and I believe Isabel and her Mom (Grans) did that at-least a couple of times in the book…sooo looking forward to that.

I saw Izabela Vidovic in the trailer and I thought YEEEEEES!!!!!!!! Why not, if not… Perfectoo.

Mandy Patinkin is playing Mr Tushman, principal of Beecher Middle School. Judging by the name alone, one would expect a Will Fellel kind of actor for this role, but Mr Tushman is actually a serious character and I am looking forward to Mandy Patinkin. Especially his delivery of the graduation day speech.

In conclusion, Wonder is supposedly a children’s book, but  needless to say that lessons from the book are useful to all ages. The book is  worth reading at-least once in a life time. I have gifted it out a couple of times and recommended it many times. The movie is full of big-hitters. There is no reason to expect less than excellence from this line up.

Cheers