I had a highly-respected reading friend suggest the book, Wonder by R. J. Palacio. So I promptly got a copy and began reading - and thus begins a wonderful story. I can hardly even relay how strongly I feel about this book - it hit me as a mom, it struck strong cords as a friend, and it moved me deeply on a human level in general. This is the powerful story of August Pullman, a fifth grade boy born with a severe facial deformity, who is just trying to make his way through middle school - just like all the other kids. However, his way through school is not at all easy - which can be normal for all kids - but even worse when you look like an "orc". My heart ached for August as he tried to be like all the other kids - but he was very rarely accepted for who he really was. What you do come to see through a few close friends, are strong friendships that are based on looking beyond the outward and looking inside to see who our friends REALLY are. I just LOVE this book - and feel so strongly that I even think it should be required reading in middle school! I mean that - let's see each other and how we are alike - not how we are different - let's see each other's hearts!