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Transcript of WONDER
Present-day New York City, in an Upper Manhattan neighborhood called North River Heights.
August "Auggie" Pullman
Auggie is a ten-year-old boy who was born with a facial deformity. All Auggie wants is to feel normal, but he has had to get used to being stared at and avoided by others throughout his entire life. The novel tells the story of Auggie going to a real school for the first time and growing up substantially over the course of his first year there.
Auggie's older sister, Via, sometimes feels like the less important child in her family, since everyone often puts Auggie's needs first. She is starting at a brand new high school at the beginning of the novel, and faces struggles to fit in and be defined by an attribute other than having a deformed little brother.
Auggie's mother, who loves Auggie deeply and truly wants the best for him, so much so that she can be overprotective.
Auggie's father, who has a special relationship with Auggie and wants to protect him, but recognizes that it is important that Auggie grow up and mature.
A boy at school whom Mr. Tushman asks to reach out and be friends with Auggie. Jack is averse to the idea at first, but eventually does become Auggie's friend; he appears to ruin this friendship, though, by insulting Auggie when he thinks that Auggie is not around to hear. Eventually the two patch up their relationship and Jack does become a true, honest friend to Auggie.
Auggie's other close friend at school. Summer sits down with Auggie at lunch on the first day, initially because she feels sorry for him, but eventually continues spending time with him because he's sweet and funny and enjoyable to hang out with. Summer is biracial and lives only with her mother, since her father died a few years before.
The story's main antagonist: a kid at school who is consistently rude to Auggie, and tries to turn the entire school against Jack when Jack decides to keep being Auggie's friend.
The principal of Beecher Prep, who always knows what is going on in the school and tries his best to make it an open, welcoming place for Auggie.
Via's new boyfriend, who comes from a family of divorced parents and really loves the closeness of the Pullman household. He plays the lead male role in the school play.
Via's former best friend, who broke ties with Via over the summer after she lied and pretended to have a deformed brother while at camp. Miranda has always been extremely close to Auggie, and loves him like a little brother of her own.
The Pullman family's dog, and Auggies closest companion.
Auggie begins fifth grade at a real school for the first time, and must surmount day-to-day obstacles. He struggles to get the other kids in his grade to accept him and to understand that there is more to him than the way he looks.
Young Adult Literature:
Coming of Age
Point of View
The novel's protagonist is August Pullman, a ten-year-old who was born with a facial deformity. However, in terms of point of view, the sections shift among Auggie, his sister Via, his friends Jack and Summer, Via's boyfriend Justin, and Via's friend Miranda.
Tone & Mood
Since Palacio's novel tells a story about middle-school children, the tone is usually lighthearted. The mood gets heavier and more serious, though, as Auggie faces instances of unkindness from his classmates.
“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”
“Kinder than is necessary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
“I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”
“MR. BROWNE'S SEPTEMBER PRECEPT:
WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.”