Wonder is the story of Auggie, who, after being homeschooled, enters the 5th grade of a regular school. Though he’s had 27 surgeries, Auggie’s features still “look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings of a candle”, earning him nicknames like “Freak” and “Lizard Face”. Despite his physical ailments, Auggie’s an engaging boy who’s smart, funny, kind and brave, and who feels pretty normal inside.
The character, Auggie, was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, characterized by multiple anomalies such as absent cheekbones and ears, diminutive jaw, near deafness and the need for a tracheostomy. Ms. RJ Palacio wrote Wonder as a result of an encounter of her sons with a young child with Treacher Collins Syndrome in a Brooklyn ice cream parlor. Her boys’ negative reaction towards this child compelled her to conduct extensive research and write this endearing novel in order to raise awareness about difference and to teach people to be kind.