Book Review – The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

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Posted 05/23/2014 by alicemarvels in Contemporary
The Julian Chapter by RJ Palacio review

Rating

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Overview

Genre:
 
Author:
 
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Publisher: RHCP Digital
 
Release Date: May 13, 2014
 
Page Count: 84
 

PROS:

wonderful reinforcement of the "choose kind" message, this time from the perspective of the bully; realistic character evolution
 

CONS:

I wish we had a bit more of Auggie-Julian interaction, everything was off scene
 
BOTTOM LINE

A new and essential side to the Wonder story!

If you enjoyed Wonder, the inspiring and charming story of Auggie Pullman and his friends at Beechwood Prep, you probably remember Julian, the chief antagonist of Auggie and Jack, and an all around jerk and bully. In The Julian Chapter, we finally get his perspective, one we were not privy to in Wonder. Finally this bully becomes a three dimensional kid, not just a villain, and we are forced to empathize with him as we see his side of Auggie’s school year. His story in no way excuses his behavior, but it helps to uncover why so much bullying happens, even from children who, all things considered, should be well adjusted. Humanizing Julian and giving readers the opportunity to see his evolution adds another layer to an already wonderful story.

Julian is a child of privilege, and in many ways is sheltered from pain and discomfort by his overprotective mother. She’s the kind of woman who photoshops dark skies to sunny blue in pictures of their rainy Hawaii family vacation. She fuels at least as much of Julian’s hatred and fear of Auggie as Julian does himself, and defends his deplorable actions in what is some of the least self-aware parenting I’ve ever seen.

What really impresses me is how Julian goes from justifying small acts of exclusion and hurtful words….

“Okay, okay. I know it’s not nice to call him “the freak,” but like I said before, people have to start being a little less sensitive around here! It’s only a joke, everyone! Don’t take me so seriously! I’m not being mean, I’m just being funny.”

…to thinking about the results of his actions:

“Would Auggie remember me in seventy years? Would he still remember the mean things I called him? I don’t want to be remembered for stuff like that.”

Having read both sides of this story, any reader could answer that yes, Auggie probably WILL remember Julian seventy years later, and every mean thing he said, BUT he will also remember how kind his classmates were in defending him, and he’ll remember the things Julian does in The Julian Chapter to make amends. Julian learns a valuable lesson that any child who has bullied others should grasp—it’s never too late to learn from mistakes. You can’t erase the past, but you can try to make amends and move forward. Julian does a marvelous job of that, and I think The Julian Chapter is an absolutely essential read for Wonder lovers.


11 Comments


  1.  

    I loved Wonder so much that when I heard that this one is going to be published I couldn’t be more happy. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I cannot wait to see more of Julian and of course Auggie. Great review! 🙂




  2.  

    Wonder is one book that hasn’t graze my shelves, unfortunately. But it sounds like I’m missing a whole lot.

    I like that this book doesn’t really justify his bullying antics, but more of an incentive to understand the person behind the mean-spirited boy.




  3.  

    I never read Wonder but I love that the author did this from the bully’s point of view. Sometimes it really helps to get their perspective and sometimes it even makes you care for them way more than you thought would be possible.




  4.  

    I loved Wonder, I need to read this, thanks for sharing!




  5.  

    I love companion novels that focus on the mean guys. This one, especially, sounds very well-written. It sounds like you get to know the villain in the previous book really well. I also love that he grows throughout the book understanding the consequences of his actions. I need to give this series a shot!
    Great review.




  6.  

    I remember when Wonder came out but I am still yet to read it, shame on me! But, it’s great to hear there’s a follow up, and I adore the cover, it’s so bright!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist




    •  
      Charlie

      The day wonder came out i rushed to the nearest bookstore to get it. though it was pretty expensive back then i just had to get it.
      I learnt about it in the trailer. I happened to see it in one of those tvs in the library that are really really quiet.




  7.  
    Charlie

    Wonder, one of my favourite books that again I’m writing a book report on. I read it ten times, but you always mix up stuff. Love the review 🙂
    I decided since this book is on Julian’s point of view, I’m gonna write it in his point of view too.
    I love the book 🙂
    If you haven’t read it… U HAVE TO.
    thats all i have to say to it.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
    thanks.




  8.  
    Lexi

    I love this book! It shows why Julian hate auggie so much. ( Julian is scared of Aggies that is why he hate him.) I will write a full page book report and giving it to my teacher so she can buy the book for our library in our room! Best people in the book wonder and the Julian chapter is Julian and Auggie! I am literally obsessed with the book I read it every night.




  9.  

    oooh! ima get it now





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