Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio (August 18, 2015, Knopf Books for Young Readers, ages 8 to 12, 320 pages).
Source: Knopf/Random House
Synopsis: If you've read R.J. Palacio's Wonder, you'll remember August Pullman, or Auggie, the boy with cranio-facial differences. (Here's my review from 2012.) Previously available only as ebooks, these three first-person companion stories are now gathered in one hardcover volume. They give us an extra peek at Auggie before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school. Together, these three stories are a treasure for readers who don’t want to leave Auggie behind when they finish Wonder.
Why I recommend it: Here's what I said about Wonder: "Astonishingly realistic characters populate an inspiring story with short chapters. That format and the clear, straightforward writing help to make a difficult subject easy to handle." And the same holds true for Auggie & Me. Like Wonder, this is a character-driven book. These kids' voices are so real they jump off the page. And kudos to Ms. Palacio. As K.M. Walton did for YA readers in Cracked, here R.J. Palacio gives us the bully's side of the story, and makes us realize he's human too. I think my favorite story, though, is Christopher's. It's called "Pluto" and it gives us a lot of insight into what Auggie was like before Beecher Prep.
Favorite lines: "Funny how all our stories kind of intertwine. Every person's story weaves in and out of someone else's story." (from "Shingaling," page 281)
R.J. Palacio's website
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And now for the giveaway: Knopf generously sent me one hardcover of Auggie & Me and one Wonder Journal, so I'm offering them both in a package to one lucky winner. To enter, you must be a follower of this blog and you must comment on this post. International entries welcome. This giveaway ends at 10 pm EDT on Sunday August 30 and the winner will be announced on Monday August 31. Good luck!