We read Wonder as a family book group read a year or two back – it worked for Big, Small and me, and then we discussed it. If you haven’t read it, I do recommend it, for ages 9 to adult really. There’s lot in it about bullying, tolerance, bravery, understanding and differences. Auggie, the main character, has been homeschooled (US) due to his facial problems and surgeries, but his parents decide it’s time for him to try school. Not all the other children are as welcoming as you might hope, and it’s a difficult year all round.
The Julian Chapter tells the other side of the story – Julian is the child who fails to cope with Auggie at all, and is the ringleader of the opposition as it were. When he is presented just as a bully, it’s hard to feel empathy with him, but R J Palacio tells his viewpoint wonderfully, getting the voice just right of a child who is *not* just misunderstood, he has behaved badly. She pulls together the whole family to illustrate how the situation could arise, and draws it to a skilful conclusion – beware, you will need tissues.
Big summarised it beautifully – everyone has a story and every one deserves to be heard.
Go, read, enjoy. But don’t forget the tissues.