Wonder convinced me just by its well-known quote:

When given the choice between being right and being right, choose kind

I have no idea where I should begin to write for one of my favorite books so far. How about just spilling out my feelings?

“You really are a wonder, Auggie. You’re a wonder”

August’s mom affectionately leaned down telling him. Those very last words of the book were stuck in my head for days.

August, the protagonist, couldn’t follow normal education because of his born special face. Although he had undertaken countless surgeries since his early ages, his face stands out, we’re talking about how negatively and offensively others express in front of him. After a long period of time homeschooling, he is convinced by his family to enter Beecher Prep School as a 5th grader, where his life turns over a new leaf.

His tough journey is a mirror of our real life. Maybe we are blessed with our socially acceptable appearance or valuable assets, but deep there inside, we suffer unspoken pains. For years grinding at schools, it’d never been easy for me to be told about my sexual orientation. I’m gay. Just a few understood. If petty Julian pokes fun at August’s ‘deformed face’, it hurt me when neighbors whispered in my parents’ ears that I was a ‘deformed gender’ son. Insane. We have to accept that we all bear at least a ‘deformed feature’, but it is absolutely not destined for deterring us from shining. Live it. Rock it. Power resides in us. Well-done, wonders!

“I want you to know that you are number one for me”

Grans told Via on sunset beach. I remember this passage, it likely forced me to fold up the book and picture moments. In front of me, Via was leaning her head on Grans’s shoulder and sweetly hugging her granny, faraway off the shore, waves rolled over dim late afternoon glows. It was an orange set. Via’s tears and Grans’s hugs glittered brilliantly, for a while, then a long silence faded everything out.

Grans passed away, but her love stays. Via learns how to love, not only herself, but her brave brother August, her tenderhearted family, her most adorable puppy Daisy, her best friend Miranda, and her fiddler boyfriend Justin. Like August, I have an elder sister, so the way Olivia is illustrated in the book enables me to step into my sister’s head full of untold thoughts, and love her more.

But he has many angels looking out for him already, Via. And I want you to know that you have me looking out for you.

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

Every character in this book has a different shade of kindness. It’s a lie if I say this book contains endless supply of the lavish word ‘kind’. Indeed, action speaks louder than words. During August’s school year (as a backbone of the story), just his family stays with him through thick and thin. Summer, Jack, Amos, Reid, Miles and Henry come as a complete revelation. Then the whole bunch of people in the grad ceremony auditorium stand up applauding August for his Henry Ward Beecher medal. He carries up most hearts. And I cried closing the book.

This is a normal story, that’s why it is special. The happiness, trustworthiness, tenderness, nervousness, hatefulness, spitefulness inherent in those pages sparkle and live in us.

August’s precept helps me to end this entry:

Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.

Posted by:Khang Nguyen

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