Books Like Wonder
Although Wonder is a children's novel, the topics that it tackles, such as self acceptance and overcoming adversity are universal. It is not just people with facial malformations would could identify with the protagonist of the book, but anyone who has ever faced situations in their life where they struggled with accepting themselves for who they are. The popularity of Wonder has lead to a number of spin-offs as well as a film adaptation that renewed interest in the book. If you are one of those readers who loved the book or found it inspiring, but you are stumped when it comes to deciding what to read next, then check out these books like Wonder. While none of them are exactly like Wonder, they do share similar themes and messages.
1. Fish in a Tree
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Just because there is nothing visibly wrong with a person, it doesn't mean that they are not facing some sort of struggle in their life. This is the message in Fish in a Tree by author Lynda Mullaly Hunt. The title is a reference to the fact that everyone is smart in different ways, but a fish would believe it is stupid if it was judged on its tree climbing abilities. The book is about a girl named Ally who has dyslexia, but goes to extreme lengths to hide her inability to read from people. Eventually her secret is discovered by Mr. Daniels, her newest teacher, but with is help she is able to face her problem instead of trying to cover it up.
2. The Running Dream
by Wendelin van Draanen
It is one thing to deal with a disability that you have had since birth, but even harder when it is something that happens out of the blue and throws your entire life in disarray. This is something that Jessica, the protagonist of The Running Dream, has to face. Jessica lives to run, so she is devastated when a car accident results in her leg being amputated. Initially Jessica draws little comfort from the fact that she'll be able to walk again if she makes use of a prosthetic leg, but eventually gains the courage and confidence to not give up on her dreams. However, Jessica doesn't just want to run again, but also make amends with someone she wronged before her accident.
by Cynthia Lord
Something that Wonder demonstrated wonderfully is that when people have disabilities, it can also impact the lives of those around them in a big way. This is a theme that is explored more in-depth in Rules by Cynthia Lord. The protagonist of this story is Catherine, a twelve-year girl with a brother that has autism. Catherine desires to live a normal life, but finds it impossible when everything that happens in her family is based around her brother's disability. It's not easy for Catherine to cope with the situation and the book also explored how it impacts the relationship that she has with her friends and family.
4. Out of My Mind
by Sharon M. Draper
Just like Wonder, Out of my Mind is a book that will make people appreciate what they have and help them to have empathy for others. It is the story of a girl named Melody who has cerebral-palsy. She has great parents, but thanks to a doctor telling them that she has brain damage, she has to spend her days in a class with handicapped kids. Little do they know that Melody actually has a photographic memory and a keen observer of everything around her. This all changes when a special device enables Melody to communicate with those around her, but she still faces a lot of adversity. What makes this book so unique is that the author has first hand experience with the situations she describes in her story as her own child has cerebral-palsy.
by Gordon Korman
Bullying plays a big role in Wonder, which makes Restart by Gordon Korman a great title to read as it offers a brand new spin on this issue. The protagonist is a very popular boy named Chase, who is the sports star of his school and enjoying the admiration of his peers. Unfortunately, Chase is also the biggest bully in the school and regularly makes life hell for the kids he picks on. All of this changes when Chase winds up in a coma after falling off a roof only to wake up with no memory. Since he doesn't know what he was like before the fall he has to figure it all out, but will he make the same mistakes and choose the same lifestyle?
by Robert Hoge
Ugly by Robert Hoge is a book that shares a lot of similarities with Wonder. However, where Wonder is fiction, Ugly is actually the true story of the author who was born with a large tumor on his face. This tumor along with some other deformities were so bad that his mother couldn't bear to look at him. In fact, if it wasn't for the insistence of his four siblings, she might not even have brought him home. Hoge faced a lot of adversity because of his looks and also had to endure numerous dangerous surgeries, but he never let any of this get the best of him. His determination to lead a normal life despite the cards that he had been dealt makes for a very inspirational tale and one that anyone who has ever felt like an outsider can relate to.