My heart has been completely captivated by R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, a book that has captivated the hearts of children all over the world. I’m always on the lookout for new reads like Wonder to add to my library. Because it’s such an excellent book for middle schoolers, I’ve adopted it as a standard. This is unfair to other novels, however, as it’s a fairly high standard to hold.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read Wonder more than I care to admit. When I was a college student babysitting a child who adored it, I first learned about it. I was drawn in by his fervor. I came to the realization that I had to read this book as soon as possible. I purchased the book and read it only once. Then I reread it and realized how much I’d missed. After that, I’m pretty sure I read it at least another 20 times. My heart and soul were in it. This was the best story I’d ever read.
However, you can only read a book so many times before you run out of patience and have to start over again. In the end, I had to look elsewhere for books with similar levels of excitement, which was not as easy as it sounded. Thanks to some trial and error, I was able to locate those books. You can find them if you look hard enough; they exist.
Books Like Wonder
If you’re a fan of Wonder, you’ll want to check out these books.
1. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Caitlin is frequently befuddled. The fact that she has Asperger’s Syndrome complicates things at times. For a while, she was able to cope because her older brother was always taking the time to explain things. A tragic school shooting claims his life, leaving Caitlin to fend for herself. This novel, like Wonder, explores what it’s like to be lost in a world where everyone else seems to have things figured out.
2. Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
It’s difficult to have confidence in yourself when your life is defined by labels. Students like Ally, a sixth-grader with learning disabilities, can benefit greatly from this. Although she excels at many subjects, such as math and art, her dyslexia causes her to believe that she is unable to perform at her best. Friendships in middle school and the meaning of “smart” are the main themes of this novel.
3. El Deafo by Cece Bell
When it comes to love and relationships, this book’s hero, like Auggie in Wonder, has to deal with the consequences of his early medical issues. It was Cece Bell’s childhood experience with hearing loss that inspired this series of graphic novels. Following Cece as she deals with her glaring hearing aid and attempts to blend in is a fun read. At first, making friends isn’t easy for her, but as time passes, she develops her own unique set of social skills.
4. Restart by Gordon Korman
This isn’t the first time Chase has been bad, but the fact that he can’t remember his life before the fall doesn’t matter because he’s in a vegetative state. When he returns to school, he discovers that not everyone is happy with the person he was before. Some children adore him, while others loathe him. Still others are enraged by him. It’s difficult enough to get through middle school without having to start from scratch, but it’s downright impossible. You’ll be inspired by this book as it explores the complexities of the middle school hierarchy.
5. Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
After being in a horrific car accident, the author’s main character, Ruthie, is hit hard by life. As a Cuban-born Jew, Ruthie finally feels at home in the United States. Things became even more difficult after her accident. As a result, Ruthie is placed in a body cast and is rendered unable to move. Her recovery teaches her a lot about life. It’s a wonderful book about the brevity and radiance of life. So it’s a good read for anyone who’s ever had to deal with something traumatic.
6. Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper
A young Melody decides that it’s time for everyone to learn about who she really is from the inside out. When you have cerebral palsy, it’s difficult to express yourself. Melody, on the other hand, is an absolute genius with a photographic memory. Unfortunately, even her doctors don’t believe she’s intelligent enough to be a doctor. There are many parallels between this book and Wonder, which is a story about trying to get the world to see you for who you really are
7. Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper
All the time, everyone is talking about everyone else. It’s just the way things are. Elyse, on the other hand, has a unique experience. It’s as if the adjectives and adverbs people use to describe her manifest themselves physically. This was fine when Elyse was younger, but as she gets older, things start to change. Elyse has to deal with the fact that people aren’t as nice as they used to be. Self-acceptance is a common theme in middle grade novels like Wonder, but this one takes it on square in the face. You’ll gain a new perspective as a result of this.
8. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
A book with many points of view This is a story about coming together, just like in Wonder. Mr. Terupt is anything but a dreary educator. In fact, most of his students say he’s the best teacher they’ve ever had. Mr. Terupt’s fifth graders deal with a snowy day at school differently when they experience a traumatic event. Each character is distinct and adds a unique perspective to the story. Being different from others isn’t so bad after all, as everyone comes to realize.
9. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
When young Lucy is struck by lightning, she gains access to the power of mathematics. In the same way that Auggie was homeschooled in the book Wonder, Lucy has no need to attend school. She’s only 12 years old, but if she chooses, she could go straight to college. Lucy’s grandmother, on the other hand, insists that she try middle school for a year. She’s supposed to make a friend, join a club, and read a book that’s not a textbook in order to meet these requirements. Lucy, on the other hand, finds that to be an enormous challenge.
10. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
Rachel is in the midst of a traumatic experience. There are other reasons why she looks so much like her Danish mother in an African American neighborhood. As far as she’s concerned, there’s no way she can know who she is or what her future holds. While grieving and mourning can be a difficult process, it can be even more difficult if you don’t know where you fit in the world at all. This book sheds light on a variety of topics, such as race, tragedy, and the quest for personal growth.