17 Great Reads If Your Students Love R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder”

Choose kind.

Wonder is one of those books that can completely change the way you view the world. Teachers have been reading it with their students for years, and now that the movie is out, there’s even more attention around this wonderful book. If your students are looking for books like Wonder, check out this list. Every single suggestion was recommended by a teacher. We posted this question on our WeAreTeachers Reading page, and we loved the responses!

1. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Out of my mind

“I read it with my fifth graders every year. It’s amazing how well they relate to the issues in the story and the compassion they have for the main character.” —Mackenzie N.

2. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does

“It takes place in the 30s. The main character has a sister on the autism spectrum, and it relates to how hard it is to find a school for her in a time that didn’t really know what to call this.” —Barbara M.


3. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Freak the Mighty

“It teaches about and celebrates differences and those that help us through our difficulties. It’s a story of true friendship.” —Michelle P.

4. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


The one and only Ivan

“It’s a similar theme, but it’s told with animals and in verse.” —Emily C.

5. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a tree by Linda

“Because it shows that every child can learn and that the teacher is the key in helping a student realize that they can learn. Maybe not in the same way that all others learn, but they CAN get it.” —Hazel L.

6. Loser by Jerry Spinelli

Loser by jerry

“It’s about a ‘different’ kid and how all the various people in his life react to him. In the end he proves to be a hero and not a loser. It’s such a good for kids, teachers, and parents.” —Amanda R.

7. Firegirl by Tony Abbott


“It’s a similar story but for older kids. The characters are in middle school, so it’s great for older kids.” —Chelsea Frances

8. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Because of Terupt

“I love the different perspectives in this book.” —Amy A.

9. Rules by Cynthia Lord


“It’s about a boy with autism and his sister and how they cope with things while also having rules to live by. It’s great for read-aloud.” —Cathryn M.

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10. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Hundred Dresses

“Like Wonder, it speaks of bullying. The main character shows how labels can really hurt people.” —Mary Jane B.

11. Small Steps by Peg Kehret

Peg Kehret

“This is a true story by the author of overcoming polio. All the students can relate to this story in one way or another.” —Marjie P.

12. Restart by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman

“The chapters are told from different characters’ perspectives, similar to Wonder. It’s about a bully who loses his memory after falling out a window.” —Brett M.

13. Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

Full Cicada Moon

“This story told in 1969 is about a girl who is half Japanese and half African American. She moves to Vermont and struggles with racism and sexism as she dreams of becoming an astronaut.” —Jessica J.

14. My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando

My Lide in Dioramas

“It deals with changes in a young girl’s life and the (sometimes) hilarious ways she deals with them.” — Laurie J.

15. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff


“Because every person, no matter how different they seem has something valuable and special to contribute.” —Kate B.

16. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s

“The main character is dealing with challenges and is often misunderstood or left out, just like Auggie.” —Tamara C.

17. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign

“It teaches about the interworking of students who think differently with a beautiful perspective.” —Jamie S.

This post contains affiliate links, but we all recommendations and opinions are always our own. Or in this case, the lovely opinions from our beloved teachers and readers.