Wonder, a story about a ten-year-old boy who lives in Manhattan and who has a rare physical deformity, was published in February of 2012 and was author R.J. Palacio's first novel.
Palacio was inspired to write Wonder after taking her son to buy ice cream one day and witnessing him cry when a girl with facial birth defects sat next to him. She tried to move her son away so as not to upset the girl and her family, but an ice cream spill occurred and the situation only got worse. Later, while listening to Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder," Palacio reflected on the situation and began writing the novel, hoping that a tense scene from her own life could turn into a valuable lesson.
The novel is told from the points of view of multiple characters: primarily the deformed Auggie himself, but also his sister, his friends, and his supposed enemies. Such an array of perspectives allows readers to understand how Auggie's entire community struggles to learn compassion and empathy. While interacting with someone who looks different from them on the outside, these other characters discover that Auggie has so much to offer on the inside.
Wonder reached the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2012, as well as a high ranking on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list. The novel has won numerous other forms of recognition, including the ALA Notable Children's Book award, an Amazon Best of the Year award, a Barnes & Noble Best of the Year award, the Christopher Award, and the National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
In October 2014, it was announced that Wonder had been picked up for a movie adaptation, with John Krokidas signed on to direct.