August

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 391

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In R. J. Palacio's Wonder, August Pullman was born with mandibulo-facial dysostosis, a severe birth defect that combined with other abnormalities to disfigure his face. When the novel opens, August is ten years old and has survived a number of plastic surgeries that have reshaped his mouth and jaw, correcting his cleft palate. His loving and protective parents have been homeschooling him all this time but are debating sending him to a middle school called Beecher Prep. August and his parents take a tour of the school during summer. Three students—Jack, Julian, and Charlotte—show him around. Jack and Charlotte are both polite, but Julian, the villain of the novel, asks rude questions about August's defects.

August decides to enroll at Beecher Prep anyway. He knows that his classmates will stare at him and call him a freak. He deliberately sits in the back of the class, where fewer people will notice him. Jack sits with him, and August starts to think of Jack as a friend. August’s perception changes on Halloween, when he overhears Jack and Julian talking about how the principal forced Jack to be friends with August. August doesn't talk to Jack for a long time. Only after Jack punches Julian do the boys reconcile. August invites Jack to sit with him and Summer at lunch.

Gradually, August begins building a group of friends. The other students become accustomed to his face and start to realize that he's funny. He happily attends a wilderness retreat with...

(The entire section contains 391 words.)

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