R. J. Palacio

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R. J. Palacio
Palacio at BookCon in 2019
Palacio at BookCon in 2019
BornRaquel Jaramillo
(1963-07-13) July 13, 1963 (age 59)

Raquel Jaramillo Palacio (born July 13, 1963) is an American author and graphic designer.[1][2] She is the author of several novels for children, including the best-selling Wonder, which was adapted into a 2017 film starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.[1][3]


R.J began her career as an illustrator, designing book covers for Paul Auster, Thomas Pynchon and others. During the course of her career she designed many hundreds of book covers, covering both fiction and non-fiction books. She also illustrated several children's books that she wrote herself.[4][5] For the first two decades of her career, she wrote books at night after her day job as a designer.[6] She illustrated her early books which were board books for children, published under the name Raquel Jaramillo.[3]

In 2021, Random House announced that her new novel Pony would have a first printing of 500,000 copies.[6] It is her first novel not featuring characters from the Wonder universe.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Born in New York City as the daughter of Colombian immigrants, Palacio attended Manhattan's High School of Art & Design and majored in illustration at the Parsons School of Design. She spent a year at the American University of Paris, travelling widely throughout Europe, before returning to New York.[4] She currently lives in New York City together with her husband Russell Gordon, an executive art director at Simon and Schuster Children's Books,[7] and their two sons Caleb and Joseph.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

She was a recipient of the Christopher Award for Wonder in 2013, and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award in 2014. Wonder was on The New York Times Best Seller list and was also on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list.[9][10] Wonder was the winner of the 2014 Maine Student Book Award, Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, the 2015 Mark Twain Award, Hawaii's 2015 Nene Award, the 2015 Young Hoosier Book Award, and the Junior Young Reader's Choice Award for 2015.[11][12][13][14] In Illinois, it won both the Bluestem and Caudill Awards in 2014.[15]


  • Ride, Baby, Ride! (1998)
  • Dream, Baby, Dream! (1998)
  • Last Summer: A Little Book for Dads (2004)
  • Wonder (2012)
  • The Extraordinary (2012)
  • Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories (2014)
  • 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts (2014)
  • We're All Wonders (2017)
  • White Bird (2019)
  • Pony (2021)


  1. ^ a b Russo, Maria (December 20, 2016). "R. J. Palacio and Meg Medina Talk Diversity and Children's Books". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "About R.J. Palacio". wonderthebook.com. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "R.J. Palacio". Britannica Kids. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "'Wonder' author R.J. Palacio isn't resting on 16 million copies sold". New York Post. September 30, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "R.J. Palacio". The Library of Congress. August 31, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Tivnan, Tom (June 15, 2021). "R J Palacio – 'The whole book is about the connections we make in our lifetimes'". The Bookseller. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  7. ^ Juris, Carolyn (March 22, 2012). "The Publishing Veteran Behind Debut Novel 'Wonder'". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  8. ^ "Author". Rjpalacio.com.
  9. ^ "ALL DOWNLOADS". Texas Bluebonnet Award 2013–2014. December 1, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  11. ^ "'Wonder' Selected as 2015 Nene Award Winner". Maui Now. April 10, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  12. ^ "YRCA Three Division Winners 2011–2020 – Pacific Northwest Library Association". Pacific Northwest Library Association. March 5, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  13. ^ "Children's Book Award Winners Announced at Maine Reading Conference". Maine.gov. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "Past Winners: Young Hoosier Book Award" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Champagne Library Illinois Award Winners". Archived from the original on October 19, 2016.

External links[edit]