Friday, May 16, 2014

The Julian Chapter, by R.J. Palacio

If you haven't read R.J. Palacio's Wonder, you really ought to.  In it, she tells the story of Auggie, a child with a cranio-facial disorder, and his struggles to become accepted in fifth grade.  In Wonder, Julian leads his classmates in widespread rejection and shunning of Auggie.  Palacio's new story, "The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story," tells part of the story from the point of view of the bully, Julian.

Julian knows he doesn't like Auggie, and can't stand to look at him, but has to come to grips with why he feels the need to act so cruelly.  I won't say Palacio forces sympathy for Julian, but she certainly gives him a fair hearing, so we understand his point of view (terrible as it may be).  When he finally comes around, courtesy of a story his grandmother tells from her childhood, he shows that he really does get it.

So if you've read Wonder, you really must read "Julian's Chapter."  If you haven't read Wonder, do it.  You won't be disappointed, and then you'll for sure want to read this.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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