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Review: The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Julian Chapter 
R.J. Palacio
Genre: MG Contemporary
Ebook: 84 Pages
Publication: May 13, 2014
by Knopf BFYR

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder, it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.

Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?


In her FAQs page, R.J. Palacio mentions that Julian doesn't have his own chapter in Wonder because he never bothers to get to know Auggie and thus doesn't have something to contribute to Auggie's story. It's true that Julian doesn't show much depth as a character in Auggie's story. In fact, he seems like a bully who enjoys picking on those different from him and refuses to admit when he's wrong.

Frankly, even after reading this chapter, I can't entirely like Julian. While he has his reasons for disliking Auggie, the fact of the matter is that he's a coward who can't face his fears. Not even at the end of the chapter - though he does take a step in the right direction. Furthermore, there is no excuse for the way he treats Auggie.

That said, I still appreciate the chance to get into Julian's mind. If we only had Wonder, we might be left with the impression that people like Julian are inherently mean spirited and cannot change. The Julian Chapter gives us an opportunity to see what makes Julian who he is and why he began picking on Auggie. More than that, it shows us that he has the potential to learn from his mistakes and grow as a human being.

The Julian Chapter opened my heart to feel sympathy for Julian, and it reminds me that, in the end, we are all human. I loathed Julian's mom in Wonder. I still resent her. But I can relate to her desire to protect her son (even if she doesn't go about it in the best way). As for Julian, learning his fears reminded me that he's just a kid, meeting his grandmother showed me that he can love, and seeing his growth showed me the human potential to mature.

I have to give a shout out to his awesome grandmother. While I don't approve of language usage (even if Julian never quotes her language) and other things she does with her son, her story deeply moved my heart and is easily my favorite part of this chapter. I was in tears over it.

The Julian Chapter is a must-read for fans of Wonder.

Endnote: I read this as part of Auggie & Me. I am so very excited for the next two reads!!

A copy was provided by Random House for review.

Rating: 5 stars

Auggie & Me
Genre: MG Contemporary
Hardback: 303 Pages
Publication: August 18, 2015
by Knopf BFYR

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    • Some language

    1 comment on "Review: The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio"
    1. Thanks for sharing. I don't think I've seen this one before.


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