To start, I couldn't stand the whiny, gravely voice that the reader used for August. It drove me nuts. It was a relief when another character section would start. I mean, from a directing standpoint, I think if you're trying to show how, other than his facial deformity, Auggie is just like other kids, why make him have such a baby voice? I was expecting a lot more from this audiobook.
The story itself was okay. Engaging, but a bit heavy-handed. I understand that the book was aiming for the message "choose kind" (especially since I have a button that says this from the publisher), but it really just seemed to be just to suggest that if you wait out cruelty and bullying, people will start to you think you are really amazing instead. I was kind of disgusted at the end to find out that the principal knew the extent of the bullying (a lot of which was just skimmed over in the narrative, actually, like the hateful notes) and didn't do anything about it. Well, of course, later he used it to make a speech at a 5th/6th grade commencement ceremony (???? Sidenote: What kind of school has a big commencement for every single kid who moves up a grade? This ridiculousness is only explained by the author's need to have a grande finale, an big preachy speech, and a standing ovation for Auggie). It also really bothered me how August's mother CONSTANTLY commented to him about how other kids looked. "Is she pretty?" "She's pretty." It seemed pretty contrary to the message of the book.
The best parts of the book were August's relationships with Daisy, his dog, and his father.