cover image Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories

R.J. Palacio. Knopf, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-93485-2

Few first novels beget a franchise, but Palacio's Wonder (2012), about a boy with a severe facial deformity, is a phenomenon. A bestseller since publication, it has also spawned a standalone companion book, 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts (2014). But despite requests from readers for a sequel, Palacio writes in her introduction to this collection of three previously released e-singles, "I can guarantee that... the de facto sequel will never be written." Instead she offers the back stories of three kids in Auggie Pullman's orbit, beginning with the "much-loathed" Julian, who suffers from nightmares and anxiety. Julian's story is the most didactic, but it will have classroom use as an "anatomy of a bully" lesson, suggesting that readers look behind a mean-spirited act to understand what drives it. Readers also spend time with Christopher, Auggie's best friend until his family moved to Connecticut, and Charlotte, a classmate chosen to help Auggie transition from homeschooling to fifth grade. Readers who wanted more about Auggie will flock to this. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media. (Aug.)