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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions


Family Relationships

1. Discuss Auggie’s relationship with each of his family members.

2. How does Via react to Auggie’s deformity?

3. How is Via’s life affected by Auggie’s deformity?

4. Via says, “I’m always going to be the sister of a kid with a birth defect; that’s not the issue. I just don’t always want to be defined that way.” What does she mean by this statement?

5. What did you think of Via's character? Did you empathize with her?

6. Do you think Via's own attitude towards her brother changes throughout the story?

7. How could her parents help Via’s life be more normal even though Auggie’s isn’t?

8. What sacrifices does Via have to make in her relationship with her parents?

9. What qualities do Auggie’s parents possess that help them to be good parents to Auggie?

10. How do respect and trust play a role in their family dynamics?



1. Discuss the characteristics of a good friend. 

2. Which of Auggie’s friends demonstrate these qualities?

3. What characteristics of a good friend does Auggie possess?

4. How does Auggie help his friends see him as an ordinary kid?

5. How does Auggie’s ability to be comfortable in his own skin make it easier for his friends and family to relate to him?


Overcoming Challenges

1. Auggie’s attendance at Beecher Prep creates issues for students, parents, teachers and the principal. What are some of the challenges that arise?

2. How does each group of individuals overcome the challenges?

3. What role does Auggie play in either helping or hurting the situation?

4. What lessons are learned because of Auggie’s attendance at the school?

5. In Mr. Tushman’s speech at the end of the year, he shares this quote, “Always try to be a little kinder than necessary.” How does being kind help someone overcome challenges?



1. Kids that are different are often bullied in some way. How does Auggie know the first time he meets Julian that he will be a bully? In what subtle ways does Julian bully Auggie?

2. What purpose does Julian have in bullying Jack? What power does Julian have to force the other students to join in his cruelty toward Auggie and Jack?

3. What prompts the seventh graders to attack and bully Auggie?

4. In general, what is Auggie’s response to the bullying?



1. Auggie and Jack are great friends; they laugh together, they talk about anything and everything, and they feel comfortable together. So why does Jack betray Auggie by talking badly behind his back?

2. How does Auggie feel when he hears what Jack has said?

3. At the same time Auggie is experiencing betrayal by his friend, Via is also feeling betrayed by her two best friends, Miranda and Ella. How do Miranda and Ella betray Via? What is Via’s response?

4. How do Via and Auggie resolve their individual conflicts and cope with the pain of betrayal?

by R. J. Palacio

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Movie: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1524720194
  • ISBN-13: 9781524720193