WARNING: Spoilers are ahead!
Not too long ago, I saw the movie Wonder based on the novel by R.J. Palacio. I had high hopes for this movie seeing as it had positive reviews and was based on a heartwarming story. As someone that read the book before seeing the movie, I immediately fell in love with the book and thought it had such an important lesson. Learning about diversity and having an open mind is something that all people need to understand and have sympathy towards.
I was very pleased to see how much the movie stayed true to the book. I also enjoyed the cast and thought all of the kids did a great job in their roles. Although this was not a true story, it was based on a real-life disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome. For those of you that are not familiar with Treacher Collins syndrome, it causes facial deformities and usually, multiple surgeries are needed in order for the person to be live life to their fullest potential.
Auggie, the main character in the book has been homeschooled his entire life and when he reaches the fifth grade, his family decides to take him to public school. Auggie is extremely nervous and is afraid of what kids are going to think of him. People have been afraid of him his entire life so he knows that going to school will not be easy. He went early to meet his new principal and there were students that met him to show him a tour of the school. In this scene, especially in the movie, you can see how the children react to meeting Auggie. Although they were nice to him, one was not. This boy, Julian, acts as the bully throughout the whole book/movie. It was heartbreaking to read and see the scenes where Auggie is crying and calling himself ugly. His mother and father are his biggest supporters and do whatever they can to let Auggie lead a normal life. In the end, Auggie loves school and is thankful that his mother wanted him to go to public school.
The movie was broken into character chapters just like the book. Everything was the same as the book from the importance of the dog Daisy and her death, the fallout between Auggie and his best friend Jack Will, and the trip to the camp where the kids from the other school pick on Auggie. Throughout the novel, many of the children change their perceptions of Auggie and want to be his friend. Majority of the time, peer pressure causes for children to act a certain way, even if they don't mean it. The boys that hang around Julian are rude to Auggie because Julian is and directs them to be so. Eventually Julian gets in trouble for all that he has done to Auggie and it is important to show kids that may be reading the book or watching the movie that bullying is never okay. All of the problems that Auggie dealt with were important for him to face because it made him stronger and the other children learned from their mistakes.
A major theme of the story is to "Choose Kind". This means that when you are in a situation where you do not know what to do or how to act, choose to be kind. This is very important to Auggie's situation and ultimately all of the children choose kind.
I highly recommend this book and this movie if you have not read it or seen it! It is a powerful message with a lighthearted meaning behind it. No matter what age you are, you should sit down to read this book because it will certainly change your outlook in this and people that may seem "different" to you.