Based on R. J. Palacio's novel Wonder, do you agree with the statement, "Olivia's grandmother is more like a mother to her than her own mother"? In what ways is her grandmother different from her...

Based on R. J. Palacio's novel Wonder, do you agree with the statement, "Olivia's grandmother is more like a mother to her than her own mother"? In what ways is her grandmother different from her mom? 

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In R. J. Palacio's novel Wonder, it can be said that Olivia's grandmother, whom she calls Grans, is more like a mother to her than her own mother due to the amount of time she has available to spend with Olivia.

As Olivia states, she has had to grow up being very independent. She had to learn to accept August being the center of the family's attention because he has had very serious needs. Since her parents were always needing to take August to either therapy or to a doctor, she learned to accept that her mother would frequently miss soccer games, school plays, and that Olivia would need to find her own way to get to kids's birthday parties and help herself with homework and other problems.

In contrast to Olivia's own parents, Grans is always available to Olivia. When Olivia was 11, she got the opportunity to stay with Grans for a whole month while August was having a major jaw operation. During this time, Grans took her for ice cream, drew chalk horses on the sidewalk, and let Olivia play with Grans's makeup--all things Olivia's mother is not available to do. As Olivia phrased it, Grans is the type of grandmother who "would do everything with their grandkids." And she further stated:  "She'd run into the ocean if I asked her to, even if she had nice clothes on" (p. 85).

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