Wonder

Wonder

by

R. J. Palacio

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Mom (Isabel Pullman) is Via and August's mom. Before she began homeschooling August she was a children's book illustrator, though August insists that her "boy" illustrations aren't that great. She's also not very good at teaching August about fractions. She's a worrier, which is balanced out some by Dad's joking nature. Though she spearheads August starting school, she becomes very worried after she and August attend the meeting with Mr. Tushman, Charlotte, Jack, and Julian. The mean things that Julian says to August make Mom rethink the entire thing. For the rest of the novel, she's unwilling to fully trust that August is actually enjoying school. She's the main recipient of August's angst, primarily because she's so protective and is home with him more than Dad is. Because Mom focuses much of her attention on August, Via feels as though Mom neglects her. Despite this, Mom and Via do share a special bond because they were both very close to Mom's mom, Grans. They both struggle around Halloween, which is when Grans died. When Mom encounters kids or adults who are mean or rude to August, she reacts quietly, calmly, and often chooses to simply remove herself and August from the situation. Even as Mom tries to protect and shelter August, she also recognizes that she needs to allow him to grow up. She does things like buy him a plain duffel bag so he won't get teased for his Star Wars one on the class camping trip, and by the end of the novel, she's willing to allow August to lead conversations about things that happen to him and tries hard not to push him for information.

Mom Quotes in Wonder

The Wonder quotes below are all either spoken by Mom or refer to Mom. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of Wonder published in 2012.
Via: A Tour of the Galaxy Quotes

After you've seen someone else going through that, it feels kind of crazy to complain over not getting the toy you had asked for, or your mom missing a school play. I knew this even when I was six years old.

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Mom, Dad
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Via: An Apparition at the Door Quotes

I wonder how many nights she's stood outside his door. And I wonder if she's ever stood outside my door like that.

Related Characters: Via Pullman  (speaker), August Pullman, Mom
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
August: My Cave Quotes

"Auggie!" Mom yelled. "That's not true!"

"Stop lying to me, Mom!" I shrieked. "Stop treating me like a baby! I'm not retarded! I know what's going on!"

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Mom (speaker), Via Pullman 
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:

I don't even know how I got so mad. I wasn't really mad at the beginning of dinner. I wasn't even sad. But then all of a sudden it all kind of just exploded out of me. I knew Via didn't want me to go to her stupid play. And I knew why.

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Via Pullman  , Mom
Related Symbols: “Our Town”
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
August: Daisy's Toys Quotes

So I went to my bed and put on my pajamas without anyone telling me to and put the night-light on and turned the light off and crawled into the little mountain of stuffed animals I had left on my bed earlier.

Related Characters: August Pullman (speaker), Via Pullman  , Mom, Dad, Daisy
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
August: Home (2) Quotes

"There are always going to be jerks in the world, Auggie," she said, looking at me. "But I really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other. Just like Jack was there for you. And Amos. And those other kids."

Related Characters: Mom (speaker), Dad, Jack Will, Amos, Eddie
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Wonder LitChart as a printable PDF.
Wonder PDF

Mom Character Timeline in Wonder

The timeline below shows where the character Mom appears in Wonder. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
August: Ordinary
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
However, August says that he's used to the stares, as are Mom and Dad. His big sister, Via, isn't good at pretending—she often gets really mad and... (full context)
August: Why I Didn't Go To School
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...since he was born, not because of the way he looks. Up to this point, Mom has homeschooled him. He explains that he's always kind of wanted to go to school,... (full context)
August: How I Came to Life
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...story of his birth, prefacing it by saying that he and Via always laugh when Mom tells the story, even though the story itself isn't particularly funny. When Mom was pregnant,... (full context)
Identity Theme Icon
On the night of his birth, Mom had two nurses in the delivery room. One was nice, while the other one didn't... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
The farting nurse turned out to be very nice. She stayed with Mom for hours and was there when the doctors explained that August was very sick. The... (full context)
August: Christopher's House
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...visits Christopher and his family. When August and Christopher come inside for snacks, August overhears Mom and Lisa, Christopher's mom, talking about August going to school in the fall. Mom seems... (full context)
August: Driving
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...the way home, August and Via fall asleep. August wakes up after dark to hear Mom and Dad whispering about sending him to school. Dad is angry and says that sending... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Mom explains that she and Dad met the principal last year, and August is even more... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Mom asks if August will at least meet Mr. Tushman, the principal, and August is aghast... (full context)
August: Paging Mr. Tushman
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...Mr. Tushman because he didn't know that he'd also be meeting other kids. He and Mom arrive at Beecher Prep a few weeks before school starts, and August immediately starts giggling... (full context)
August: Nice Mrs. Garcia
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Mom and August follow Mr. Tushman through the school. August hides behind Mom and feels "babyish"... (full context)
August: Jack Will, Julian, and Charlotte
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Mr. Tushman leads Mom and August into his office. August looks at the interesting items on Mr. Tushman's desk... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
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Identity Theme Icon
...homeroom to show him around. August refuses to meet them, so both Mr. Tushman and Mom assure August it'll be okay. (full context)
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...shows two boys and a girl into his office. They don't look at August or Mom. Mr. Tushman introduces them as Jack Will, Julian, and Charlotte. Jack Will and Julian shake... (full context)
August: The Performance Space
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...August was just homeschooled, and Julian doubts that someone who isn't a real teacher like August's mom can effectively teach science. Jack suggests they go to the library, but Julian asks August... (full context)
August: The Deal
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...and Charlotte get back to the office, Mrs. G asks if August liked the school. Mom asks August if he saw baby chicks in the science lab, and August wishes Mom... (full context)
August: Home
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After a half block, Mom asks how the tour of the school was. August refuses to talk until they get... (full context)
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Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
When Mom says that Julian seemed especially nice, August corrects her and says that Julian was the... (full context)
August: First-Day Jitters
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On the first day of school, August is very nervous. Mom and Dad take pictures of him and Via, and they all decide to walk August... (full context)
August: One to Ten
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August explains that after his jaw surgery, when his jaw was wired shut, Mom started asking him to rate pain on a scale of one to ten, since he... (full context)
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Mom tries to ask other questions about August's day, but August gives cursory answers. He chooses... (full context)
August: Padawan
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...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. (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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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... (full context)
August: Apples
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August's birthday is the tenth of October, and he asks Mom if he can have a big party. He wants to invite his entire homeroom class... (full context)
August: School Pictures
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At the end of the month, Mom allows August to not have his school photo taken. However, August isn't able to get... (full context)
August: Costumes
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...was the Bleeding Scream. This year, he's going to be Boba Fett from Star Wars. Mom has been working hard on the costume. August explains that he chatted with his classmates... (full context)
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...Via has a meltdown. Dad is late and is uncharacteristically not patient with her, so Mom and Dad finally decide that Dad will take August to school and Mom will drive... (full context)
August: Names
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
...goes to the nurse's office and tells her that he has a stomachache. She calls Mom and fifteen minutes later, Mom arrives to pick August up. August just tells her that... (full context)
Via: A Tour of the Galaxy
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Via tells the reader that August is the sun, while she, Mom, and Dad are just planets orbiting around him. Daisy the dog is the only being... (full context)
Via: August Through the Peephole
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...she could read his face better before his surgeries, but now, it's gotten more difficult. Mom and Dad can still read him, but Via can't. She thinks that he's ten years... (full context)
Via: High School
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...elementary school, everyone knew about August because he came to all the school functions with Mom and Dad. In middle school, however, not as many people knew about August. It was... (full context)
Via: The Padawan Bites the Dust
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...her or calling Christopher, who also grew a braid at the same time. After dinner, Mom knocks on Via's door and Via recognizes that Mom is drained. Via declines to tell... (full context)
Via: An Apparition at the Door
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Once, Via woke up in the middle of the night and saw Mom standing outside August's room, listening to him sleep. Via thought she looked like a ghost... (full context)
Via: Breakfast
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
The morning of the second day of school, Via asks Mom to pick her up after school. Mom insists that Miranda's mom can drive Via as... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mom asks if there's something going on with Miranda, and Via explains that Miranda is acting... (full context)
Via: Genetics 101
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Via explains that Dad's family is Jewish, while Mom's family is Brazilian. Except for Grans and Grans' husband, who lived in the U.S., everyone... (full context)
Via: The Punnett Square
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...him. Via says that over the years, doctors have drawn hundreds of Punnett squares for Mom and Dad to explain August's genetics. She says that she likes how doctors talk, using... (full context)
Via: October 31
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...the night before Halloween, so it's always a sad time of year for Via and Mom. Mom copes by going all out on August's Halloween costume. This year, she spends all... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and ends up making Via cry, so he takes August to school, and Via and Mom stay home. Via thinks that Mom must miss Grans a lot, as Grans was always... (full context)
Via: Time to Think
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Via feels bad for Mom the next day, as Mom has no idea that August's stomach is perfectly fine. By... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Identity Theme Icon
Angry, Via threatens to tell Mom and Dad about Jack if August stops going to school, saying that if Mr. Tushman... (full context)
Justin: Valentine's Day
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...him a bag made out of floppy discs. They make plans for Justin to meet Mom and Dad, so they all go out to a Mexican restaurant. Justin's nerves bring out... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...go back to Via's house for ice cream. Daisy greets them at the door, and Mom and Dad discover that she threw up. Mom cleans it up while Dad tells the... (full context)
Justin: The Bus Stop
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As Justin and Via are kissing goodbye, Mom, August, and Jack come down the stairs. Mom pretends not to notice, but August and... (full context)
August: North Pole
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...to handle when he has several hundred pairs of eyes staring. At the science fair, Mom, Dad, and Jack's parents hang around Jack and August's table. August notices that his classmates'... (full context)
August: Lobot
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...hearing aids, August refuses to wear them, insisting he'll look like Lobot from Star Wars. Mom has no idea what August is talking about, but the audiologist engages August in upbeat... (full context)
August: Hearing Brightly
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...aids. He no longer hears an "ocean" in his head, and words sound bright. When Mom asks how he's hearing, he tells her she doesn't need to yell. The audiologist shows... (full context)
August: Via's Secret
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
A couple days after spring break ends, Mom finds out that Via never shared anything about her school's spring play. Mom is uncharacteristically... (full context)
August: My Cave
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Status and Bullying Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...seem better by dinner. Dad is out, and Daisy is asleep after vomiting again, so Mom makes her an appointment to see the vet the next day. Mom, August, and Via... (full context)
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Mom makes an excuse that their argument has nothing to do with August and is shocked... (full context)
August: Goodbye
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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...not about him when he refuses to apologize. She says that Daisy is sick, and Mom needs to take her to the vet, so August needs to say goodbye. August allows... (full context)
August: Daisy's Toys
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Two hours later, Mom and Dad come home without Daisy. August knows that Daisy is gone. They all sit... (full context)
August: Heaven
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Very early in the morning, August wakes up and crawls into bed next to Mom. He asks about her hand and if Via is ashamed of him, and he apologizes... (full context)
August: Understudy
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
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Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...but caps don't work with his hearing aids. August keeps his head down and follows Mom and Dad to the auditorium and they flip through the program. August asks why Via's... (full context)
August: The Ending
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
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...in their lives. Finally, the lights go up and the audience makes its way out. Mom, August, and Dad spot Via and Justin and they all congratulate them. Via explains that... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
Mr. Davenport comes over, and Via introduces him to Mom, Dad, and August. Justin pulls Mr. Davenport away before he can look too embarrassed at... (full context)
Miranda: Extraordinary, but No One There to See
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Parenting and Guidance Theme Icon
...loves her part. However, when Miranda peeks at the audience from backstage and sees August, Mom, and Dad, she suddenly mumbles to Mr. Davenport that she feels sick and can't go... (full context)
Miranda: The Performance
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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...the cast goes out for their curtain calls, but she feels better when she sees Mom, Dad, and August backstage. She notices August looking lost, rushes up behind him, and greets... (full context)
Miranda: After the Show
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Miranda can't believe how big August is now as they chat about the play. Mom finds them minutes later, greets Miranda, and reprimands August for disappearing. Miranda explains that her... (full context)
August: The Fifth-Grade Nature Retreat
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...he and Christopher almost had a sleepover but at about midnight, August panicked. Lisa called Mom and Dad and they came and got him. August says that this is all he's... (full context)
August: Known For
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Identity Theme Icon
August asks Mom to buy him a new plain duffel bag to replace his Star Wars one for... (full context)
August: Packing
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The day before the trip, Mom helps August pack. She folds all his clothes and puts them in the duffel bag... (full context)
The Difficulty of Kindness Theme Icon
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Mom reminds August to wear sunscreen and bug spray and tells him not to get his... (full context)
August: Daybreak
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...out of his duffel bag, and tucks him into his bed with a note for Mom. It says that Mom can snuggle Baboo if she misses August. (full context)
August: The Fairgrounds
Identity Theme Icon
...to see an outdoor movie that night. During some downtime, August writes a letter to Mom, Dad, and Via. When the class arrives at the fairgrounds where they'll see the movie,... (full context)
August: Aftermath
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When the class gets back to Beecher Prep, August sees Mom waiting for him with the other parents. Mr. Tushman already told her about what happened... (full context)
August: Bear
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August's family decides to name the puppy Bear because Mom thinks he looks like a bear cub. She lets August and Via stay home the... (full context)
August: The Drop-Off
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...heart to never see it. August is quiet for a minute and then asks if Mom knows. Dad quickly says she doesn't, which makes August start laughing uncontrollably. Dad swears August... (full context)
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...graduation as to not embarrass him. Dad says he'll try his best, but says that Mom probably will kiss him anyway. (full context)
August: The Walk Home
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...ridiculously happy. He watches Dad telling other adults a funny story and then notices that Mom is hanging back from the group. She looks happy, but August steps back and puts... (full context)
August: Home (2)
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Mom and August walk home in near silence. When they get home, Mom wraps her arms... (full context)
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August asks for chocolate milk and while Mom whisks chocolate powder into milk, he tells her that he and Jack were in the... (full context)
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August is satisfied with this and decides to go take a nap. Mom thanks him for leaving Baboo, but is interrupted by her ringing cell phone before she... (full context)