Wonder by R.J. Palacio: Summary & Characters

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  • 0:02 Characters in 'Wonder'
  • 2:11 Summary of 'Wonder'
  • 3:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio is the story of a young boy who has so much to overcome - not only his physical appearance but also starting a new school. By the end of the novel, his fellow characters, and readers too, learn that Auggie is a real wonder.

Characters in Wonder

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is told in one of the most exciting ways: each main character takes a turn as narrator. Don't you just love that? You get to know exactly what each character thinks, means, and says, rather than having someone else tell you. Very cool.

Here are the main characters in Wonder, many of who serve as narrators at some point in the novel.

Our first character is August Pullman. 'One in four million' is what a doctor says about Auggie's medical conditions. Officially, Auggie has a craniofacial abnormality that fills his dance card with surgeries, doctors' appointments, and kids snickering at him. Despite it all, Auggie is a sweet character that readers can't help but root for.

Olivia Pullman, also known as 'Via,' whom he describes as beautiful, unlike himself. She shows that she's pretty incredible on the inside, too. She strongly supports Auggie, but she feels having him as a brother isn't always easy. Via feels neglected and sometimes wishes that she wasn't the sister of the kid with the facial deformity.

Summer is a new classmate of Auggie's. There's no obligation on Summer's part to be friends with Auggie; she just is a good friend. And, she's cute; what fifth grade boy wouldn't like to hang out with her?

Jack is another of Auggie's new classmates; their Facebook friend status should read, 'It's complicated.' Jack is tasked by their school principal to take Auggie under his wing. Despite initial reservations, Jack becomes one of Auggie's truest allies.

Julian is the classic antagonist to protagonist, Auggie. He's just mean, mean, mean; although he doesn't let the adults know it. Julian seems to have two personalities, and he saves the worst one for Auggie.

Justin is Via's boyfriend. Between make out sessions with Via, Justin ponders why 'the universe was not kind to Auggie Pullman.'

Miranda is Via's former bestie. While in a camp that her mom banished her to, Miranda reinvents herself and weaves an intricate web of lies, including one that she has a brother with a facial deformity (Auggie, meet your new 'sister').

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