During my school visits to promote my first children’s book, The Misfits, I was made aware that many schools have been reading Wonder in an effort to help kids understand the impacts of bullying and of being different and not fitting in. It seemed fitting, therefore, to go and see the movie version of the novel.
Jacob Tremblay did an amazing job of playing Auggie, a 10 year old boy born with a facial deformity which has set him aside from other kids and prompted him to be home schooled by his mum. On the advent of him moving to middle school, his parents made the decision that he needed to go to a mainstream school and start to interact with kids his own age.
Now, we all know kids can be brutal at the best of times, and this was no exception. It was heartbreaking to watch the way he was teased and ostracised by most and pitied by others. As hard as it was for him, though, he stood tall and continued to go to school, continued to brave the insults and the staring, until eventually the kids saw past the wrapping and saw who Auggie really was.
It is a movie that will tear at your heartstrings as you see, not only the impact of this situation on Auggie himself, but also on his family and friends. It is a great insight into the reality of being different from other people and to the bullying that ensues and it should act as a lesson to us all in how we should treat other people.
Being different, being unique, not following the crowd are all perfectly acceptable and to be applauded. Everyone is perfect, just the way they are and no one should ever be made to feel that they’re not.