Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Summary
Analysis
August cuts off his Padawan braid that night. Dad is thrilled, but Via seems angry and demands to know if someone made fun of it. August cuddles with Daisy until Dad comes in later to tuck him in. He tells Dad that he had a good day, but confirms that he can stop going to school if he wants to. Dad reminds August that he does have to talk to him and Mom if bad things are happening, and August promises he will.
The Padawan braid and the love of Star Wars that it connotes is one thing that August can control about his outward identity. By cutting off the braid, August bends to Julian’s teasing.
Themes
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Dad asks August if he's mad at Mom, and August insists that she's the most to blame for sending him to school. Mom peeks her head around the door to say goodnight, and Dad suggests that she tuck August in. August tells the reader that he's aware that it's kind of babyish for Mom and Dad to still tuck him in, but he likes it anyway. Mom lies down next to August, pulls out The Hobbit, and begins to read. Suddenly, August starts to cry. He apologizes and asks her why he has to be so ugly, and Mom holds and kisses him. Mom tells Auggie "soft words," but he thinks that they can't change his face.
August's quickly shifting emotions here again point to his budding adolescence, though his tears and desire to be tucked in and read with his mom underscores that he’s still a child in need of love, care, and affection. This begins to show that parents have a responsibility to offer their children both a push towards maturity as well as more tender affection, as the combination of the two will make children feel safe and secure as they grow and gain more independence.
Themes
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon