Study Guide

Mrs. Albans (Julian's Mom) in Wonder

By R.J. Palacio

Mrs. Albans (Julian's Mom)

We don't know all that much about Julian's mother, Melissa Albans, but what we do know doesn't paint a very flattering picture.

  • She's the mom of the meanest kid in the fifth grade.
  • She photoshops Auggie out of the class picture, and even goes so far as to give a copy of the altered version to some other moms.
  • She writes to Mr. Tushman, wondering "if Jack's unexpectedly violent behavior might have been a result of too much pressure being placed on his young shoulders?" (4.Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts.6)

In Julian's defense, with a mom like this it might be pretty hard to turn out nice.

But let's focus on her letter to Mr. Tushman. What's odd about Mrs. Albans' wording, as her letter continues, is that she never mentions August by name, even though the kids have been in school together for a solid three months. She writes:

I am speaking specifically of the new child with special needs who both Jack and Julian were asked to 'befriend.' In retrospect, and having now seen the child in question at various school functions and in the class pictures, I think it may have been too much to ask of our children to be able to process all that. (4.Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts.6)

Apparently Mrs. Albans thinks that it's really only reasonable to ask kids to be nice to people who fall within certain parameters—and to her, Auggie falls into some outlying category which she can only refer to as "all that." As if Auggie isn't even a person. And she doesn't stop there. Nope—she goes even further, exploring the idea that "all that" should not even be allowed to continue at Beecher Prep.

Probably the best nugget we get about Mrs. Albans comes, unexpectedly, from Charlotte, who says, "'Just so you know, my mom thinks Julian's mom is a total idiot. She said she thinks people like her are more concerned about what their kids' class pictures look like than doing the right thing'" (4.The War.38). Sounds about right to us too.