Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.
Author: R.J. Palacio
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Julia Roberts
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne
Summary (From Goodreads): I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
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I haven’t read many middle grade novels in quite a while, and I have to admit that this is the first one that brought big tears to my eyes. Wonder is a one-of-a-kind book that deals with bullying in a way that is honest, raw, and eye-opening. The writing is crisp and witty, and the multiple perspectives really help to give the reader a deep understanding of all the sides to the story. Amazingly, the film is just as wonderful, and although it is a condensed version of the original, it maintains the original themes that Palacio has inspired her readers with.
Wonder has been one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR forever, and when the movie details were announced, I knew that the time had come to finally crack it open. For years I have heard nothing but praise for the messages and themes included in the novel, and I am pleased to say that the accolades given to this middle grade novel are well-deserved. It really is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone. The different points of view add to this effect, as there are so many generations of characters in this book. Auggie is such a fantastically developed character, and his perseverance in spite of all the adversity he faces is admirable. It is hard not to fall in love with him and his hilarious outlook on life.
Fans of the novel will most likely be very pleased that the story is very closely mirrored in the movie version. Albeit there are certain things that have been altered and twisted a little to bring it to the screen, but it in no way changes the outcome of the narrative. Jacob Tremblay is a perfect Auggie, and it is impressive how he seems to be able to really get into the role of such a multi-layered character.
Is the book better than the movie? Of course! However, if you are a fan of the book, you will not be disappointed. This is one story not to be missed whether you read it or see it.