Auggie has a facial deformity that alienates him from his peers; while Auggie wants to be just like everyone else, he is ostracized for his unattractive appearance. He recounts his birth story when the doctor faints upon seeing his face. Auggie is aware that other kids stare at him and fail to see past his physical appearance. The deformity is accompanied by severe health problems that lead to Auggie being unable to start school until the fifth grade; he is constantly sick and his mother home schools him instead. By not going to school early in life, Auggie misses out on the school experience that other kids his age have had. As a fifth-grader, Auggie is an outsider to the school environment familiar to most other kids his age.