I loved Wonder when I first read it almost five years ago.
I devoured it in one night and knew that it was a winner straight away.
Even my non-reading youngest booklet (sigh) loved Wonder and even went so far as to say that if there were more books like this he might actually read more.
High praise indeed!
However, I was a little sceptical last year when Palacio published a sequel of sorts that features three of the characters not given a voice in Wonder.
Was this just milking a sure thing? Could these three stories add to and enhance our time in Auggie’s world?
In her Introduction to Auggie and Me, Palacio says that this book
is an expansion of Auggie’s world. The three stories in Auggie and Me – The Julian Chapter, Pluto and Shingaling, all originally published as short ebooks – are told from the perspective of Julian, Christopher and Charlotte, respectively. They are three completely different narratives…they all do have one thing in common, though, which is Auggie Pullman.
As it turns out though, these three stories are just as wonderful as the original story.
They give us insight into why Julian bullies Auggie. Palacio creates a nuanced, complex character with a backstory of his own.
Through Christopher and Charlotte we experience the wider world that Auggie lives in but is not always aware of. Both Christopher and Charlotte have a lot going on in their own lives which makes it difficult for them to fully engage with what Auggie’s world. Christopher’s chapter also gives us a chance to see Auggie as a young child as he remembers some of their early adventures.
If you loved Wonder, you’ll love Auggie and Me too.
It evokes similar heart-warming feelings and continues the theme of kindness that has made Wonder so special to so many readers around the world.