August (who goes by “Auggie”) has this weird fluke thing that makes him look different than anyone else. (He basically tells readers he won’t describe himself, and then adds “Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”) He was homeschooled for most of his life but now his parents have decided that he needs to go to school…just in time for middle school. Still, against all odds, Auggie makes some friends. (And, of course, spends a not-small amount of time being stared at and then avoided.)
Oh, you guys, this book. I have not loved a book like this since The Pull of Gravity. (In fact, I think this book is probably what would happen if TPoG and The Fault in our Stars got together and had a book baby.) I know it’s a total cliche, but this is the kind of book that changes lives and definitely the kind of book that turns me into a crazy person and start brandishing it at strangers, saying, `GUYS. READ THIS. READ THIS NOW.”
I’ve become a total sap in my old age (32 in April) and I find that the two things that make me cry most often are blatant cruelty and unexpected kindness. There’s a lot of both in this book.
It’s pretty impossible not to fall in love with August and his obsession for all things Star Wars. But it’s just as hard not to love his family (his parents and his older sister Olivia—or “Via”), who love Auggie as fiercely as…well, as I do, at this point. And the group of friends that Auggie makes are pretty awesome as well.
I don’t think I can talk about this book like a normal person. It’s sweet and sad and profound and brilliant, but when I try to expound on that (so that people will want to buy this book), I just keep coming back to “This is probably the best book I will read this year. And I am so sad that I read it in February, because everything is going to be downhill from here.”