Is wonder based on another person but R.J created a name, or is he a real person?
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It is based on a brief experience with a real person. 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.
This is so true. When they know the person with special needs is, they'll know that the were mistaken!