Chapters 48-49 Summary
Part Three of Wonder is told in the voice of Summer, who marvels at how often kids ask her why she hangs out with “the freak.” She tells people that August is nice, and she asks them not to call him names. The other kids call Summer “a saint” and demand to know if the principal asked her to be friends with August. Summer simply insists that she likes him. Privately, she is surprised that this is even a big deal. “It’s weird how weird kids can be,” she thinks.
Summer admits that on the first day of school, she sat with August because she felt sorry for him. Kids were staring, and he was alone. The girls at her table were whispering about him, calling him the nickname Julian had given him: “Zombie Kid.” Summer could see that August knew this was happening, and she hated feeling like she was a part of it. She imagined how hard it would be to be a new kid who looked like him.
So Summer decided to do something about it. To her, it was not a big deal that she sat down at his table. She reflects: “He’s just a kid. The weirdest-looking kid I’ve ever seen, yes. But just a kid.”
Summer concedes that it is hard to get used to August’s face. Now that she has been sitting with him at lunch for two weeks, she can say from firsthand experience that “he’s not the neatest eater in the world.” But she likes him anyway. She no longer sits with him because she feels sorry for him. She sits with him because he is a good guy.
It bugs Summer how some kids, especially girls, act like they are too grown-up to do kid stuff now that they are in middle school. All they want to do is talk about boys and relationships. August still likes to play. His favorite recess game is Four Square, which works for Summer because she likes this game too.
One day during Four Square, Summer asks a girl named Maya to join the game. Maya refuses because it means touching a ball August has touched. She explains that the kids are all saying that August has the Plague. Anyone who touches August has to wash his or her hands immediately or catch the Plague. Summer thinks this is stupid, and Maya agrees. But she refuses to play with August anyway just in case.