If you’re wondering…


Anna Hulstedt, Reporter

     Wonder, based on the 2012 best-selling novel by R.J. Palacio, is about Auggie, played by Jacob Tremblay. Auggie’s a ten-year-old with Treachers Collins syndrome, a genetic disease causing severe facial deformities. He has been home schooled his whole life until his parents, played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, decide to send him to middle school. The movie covers Auggie’s first year in real school, where he learns to be brave and strong as he puts up with bullying, tries to make friends and gets through other middle school struggles. Wonder is directed by Stephen Chbosky and opened strong at the box office on Nov. 17 with over 27 million dollars the first weekend.

     Just like the book, the movie is divided into segments that look at the story from different character’s perspectives. Although the movie switched perspectives multiple times, the shifts were easy to follow and the movie flowed easily. Auggie begins the story, highlighting his birth, his situation with starting middle school, and showing his tour to Beech Prep Middle School prior to the first day.

     Then, Auggie’s sister Via continues the story, going through her struggles of being left out while Auggie typically gets all of the attention because of his needs and health issues. Miranda, Via’s best friend, who changed and became distant over the summer, leaves Via feeling lonely during her first weeks back at school.

     One of the students that helped give Auggie a tour before school, Jack Will, tells part of the story as well. At first, Jack was reluctant, but his mom encouraged him to go and try to befriend Auggie. As school begins, Jack eventually joins Auggie for lunch and the two are seen hanging out after school, playing video games, and working on school projects together. Jack becomes a true friend to Auggie and plays an important role in helping Auggie through his first year of middle school.

     Auggie’s homeroom teacher in the movie encourages his class to think deeper about how to treat others by presenting monthly “precepts”, or quotes, which focus on being kind and making the right choices. One of them was “If given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” While the movie showed a couple of these precepts, it wasn’t emphasized as much as it was in the book. It could have been a good addition to include more precepts that leave moviegoers with more to ponder.      Wonder shows us a lot about relationships, acceptance, and how to treat others. It’s a powerful movie that explores the themes of friendship, kindness, and courage to do what’s right. Kids and teens across our nation could really benefit from the message this movie brings. It truly is a wonder how kindness can change lives.