Welcome to our guide to navigating the literary journey beyond the acclaimed novel ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. If you’re not familiar, ‘Wonder’ is a heartfelt story that follows a boy named Auggie Pullman, who was born with facial differences. It’s a tale that resonates with themes of kindness, acceptance, and friendship.
In this blog post, we aim to provide a curated list of books that echo these powerful themes, further deepening your understanding and appreciation. So if ‘Wonder’ moved you, you’re likely to find your next favorite book in the list below.
Stay tuned and prepare to add some fantastic titles to your reading list!
The Importance of Continuing the Journey
After reading a book as impactful as ‘Wonder’, it’s only natural to want to explore further. Literature has a unique ability to foster empathy and broaden our understanding of diverse experiences. By reading stories that share similar themes, we can continue to cultivate these emotions and insights, furthering our journey towards a deeper appreciation of kindness, acceptance, and friendship.
Through this exploration, we not only discover more compelling narratives but also broaden our horizons, gaining a deeper understanding of different perspectives. So let’s embark on this journey and continue the remarkable exploration that ‘Wonder’ has initiated!
Recommendations Based on Themes in ‘Wonder’
One of the most resonant themes in ‘Wonder’ is kindness, shown through Auggie’s experiences and the people he encounters. To explore this theme further:
‘Because of Mr. Terupt’ by Rob Buyea: This book follows seven students in Mr. Terupt’s fifth-grade class, each with a unique perspective. A heartwarming narrative unfolds as they experience the transformative power of kindness through their teacher’s influence.
‘The One and Only Ivan’ by Katherine Applegate: This captivating story is about Ivan, a gorilla living in a shopping mall. The narrative delves into themes of kindness, compassion, and the power of communication, which are portrayed through Ivan’s interactions with other animals.
Another crucial theme in ‘Wonder’ is acceptance, as Auggie seeks to fit into his new school environment. For books that delve into this theme:
‘Out of My Mind’ by Sharon M. Draper: This poignant novel introduces us to Melody, a girl with cerebral palsy who, despite being unable to speak, has a brilliant mind. It’s a deeply moving narrative about the struggle for acceptance and understanding.
‘Stargirl’ by Jerry Spinelli: The novel centers around Stargirl, a non-conforming and eccentric student who enters a traditionally conformist high school. The story delves into themes of acceptance and the courage to be one’s self.
Friendship forms the backbone of ‘Wonder’, showcased through Auggie’s relationships with his peers. Here are some books that beautifully illustrate this theme:
‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Paterson: This book centers around the deep friendship between Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke. Their story explores the themes of friendship, imagination, and loss in a touching manner.
‘Charlotte’s Web’ by E. B. White: An enduring classic, this novel spins a tale of unexpected friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. Through their bond, the narrative addresses themes of friendship, sacrifice, and acceptance.
Recommendations for Older Readers
While ‘Wonder’ is suitable for younger readers, its themes are universally relatable and appeal to a broad audience. For those looking for more mature narratives that still carry similar themes, consider:
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon
A gripping story told from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who has an autism spectrum condition. Christopher embarks on a detective journey, and throughout his adventures, the narrative explores themes of acceptance, difference, and the complexity of human relationships.
‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell
A heartfelt novel that portrays the tender love story between two misfit teenagers. As Eleanor and Park navigate their feelings for each other, they also grapple with societal norms, acceptance, and the power of emotional connection. This book’s themes resonate with those found in ‘Wonder’, making it a suitable choice for readers seeking a more mature narrative.
Similar Reading Experiences
For those who enjoyed the narrative style and structure of ‘Wonder’, here are some books that offer similar reading experiences.
‘Fish in a Tree’ by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally Nickerson struggles with dyslexia but is too embarrassed to ask for help. However, with the support of a new teacher and the power of determination, Ally starts seeing her world in a new light. This book is similar to ‘Wonder’ in terms of narrative tone, portraying themes of acceptance, empathy, and self-confidence.
‘Counting by 7s’ by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Willow Chance, a twelve-year-old genius with a penchant for counting by 7s, finds her life turned upside down when she loses her adoptive parents. The narrative follows Willow as she navigates her grief and builds a surrogate family. This book offers a profound exploration of resilience and the power of friendship, reminiscent of ‘Wonder’ in both structure and themes.
Non-Fiction Choices for More Understanding
While fiction provides us with a window into different lives and experiences, non-fiction allows us to delve deeper into real-world narratives. Here are a couple of non-fiction titles that continue the exploration of the themes found in ‘Wonder’.
‘Wonderstruck’ by Brian Selznick
‘Wonderstruck’ tells two parallel stories, one through illustrations, the other through text, each from a different time period. It addresses themes of friendship, perseverance, and the experience of being different, providing a unique, visually stunning reading experience.
‘El Deafo’ by Cece Bell
This graphic novel memoir from Cece Bell is a candid portrayal of her experiences growing up with a severe hearing impairment. With charming illustrations and a compelling narrative, ‘El Deafo’ explores themes of acceptance, self-confidence, and the power of embracing one’s unique identity.
‘Frindle’ by Andrew Clements
This story follows a creative and curious fifth-grader, Nick Allen, who invents a new word for a pen: “frindle”. ‘Frindle’ encourages readers to question the world around them and think creatively, echoing the theme of individuality found in ‘Wonder’.
‘The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl’ by Stacy McAnulty
Protagonist Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, leaving her with acquired savant syndrome and an exceptional talent for math. As she navigates middle school, Lucy learns about friendship, acceptance, and overcoming personal challenges, making this a perfect read for fans of ‘Wonder’.
‘Wonderland’ by Barbara O’Connor
This novel revolves around the friendship between two girls and their quest to find a best friend for a lonely dog. This heartfelt story explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and acceptance, reminiscent of those found in ‘Wonder’.
‘The Thing About Jellyfish’ by Ali Benjamin
After her friend’s drowning, Suzy immerses herself in learning about jellyfish. The book portrays themes of grief, coming-of-age, and navigating friendships, providing a deeper reading experience for those who loved ‘Wonder’.
‘Schooled’ by Gordon Korman
Raised by his grandmother on a commune, Capricorn Anderson’s life changes drastically when he has to attend public school for the first time. Themes of acceptance, friendship, and staying true to oneself make this an excellent companion to ‘Wonder’.
‘Rules’ by Cynthia Lord
The story centers around Catherine, a 12-year-old girl whose brother has autism. ‘Rules’ is a sensitive exploration of the themes of acceptance, understanding, and familial bonds, closely aligning with the themes present in ‘Wonder’.
‘The Thing About Luck’ by Cynthia Kadohata
This novel follows a Japanese-American family and their experiences with a demanding wheat harvesting season. It presents themes of family, resilience, and cultural identity, offering a unique perspective on acceptance and understanding.
‘Mockingbird’ by Kathryn Erskine
Caitlin, a girl with Asperger’s syndrome, struggles to understand the world after her brother’s death. With its exploration of acceptance, grief, and empathy, ‘Mockingbird’ is an insightful read for those who appreciated ‘Wonder’.
‘Maniac Magee’ by Jerry Spinelli
A story of a legendary boy named Jeffrey ‘Maniac’ Magee who confronts racism and social inequality in his town. The themes of acceptance, friendship, and societal issues make this a compelling follow-up to ‘Wonder’.
‘Absolutely Normal Chaos’ by Sharon Creech
Mary Lou Finney is tasked with keeping a journal over the summer, and the readers get a front-row seat to her life’s ups and downs. It covers themes of family, friendship, and the trials of adolescence, providing a relatable and engaging reading experience for fans of ‘Wonder’.
We’ve embarked on a literary journey, exploring various narratives that carry the torch lit by ‘Wonder’. These stories further our understanding of kindness, acceptance, and friendship, offering valuable life lessons.
From narratives that revolve around transformative acts of kindness to those that delve into the struggle for acceptance, we’ve covered a diverse range of books. Whether you’re a young reader or older, whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, there’s something for everyone in this list.
Just like ‘Wonder’, these books can leave a profound impact, reminding us of our shared humanity and the importance of empathy. So pick one up and keep the exploration going. Happy reading!