|“||If they stare, let them stare. You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.||”|
— Olivia Pullman to August before his first day of school, Wonder
Olivia "Via" Pullman is a main character in Wonder. She is the older sister of August and the daughter of Isabel and Nate Pullman. She is a student at Faulkner High School, where she met Justin who became her boyfriend. On the first day of school she drifted apart from Miranda and Ella, as they chose to hang out with the popular kids.
Via is kind, intelligent, curious, and very creative, but she's also sensitive, stable, and nervous sometimes. However, she is able to stand up for others and for what she believes in. Via also can be emotional sometimes.
Olivia Pullman was born from Isabel and Nate five years before Auggie. According to Via, she does not remember much about her life before August. Though she does know that she is the first of a new generation in her family tree, which makes August the second. When her mother was pregnant with Auggie, Grans gave her a doll, named Lily, so that Via could "practice" being the older sister. Everyday she would feed the doll and changed her diaper until August was born. Via never touched, or mentioned Lily ever again.
Before August Went to School
Via would always love to spend time with Auggie and deeply cared for him just like her parents. She would spend time having conversations or playing games together along with Miranda, Ella, Christopher, Zachary, and Alex. However, when Auggie had to go the hospital for surgeries, she had to stay with relatives. The longest stay away was when Via visted Grans in Montauk. Via always loved spending time with Grans as much as she did with August.
When Via went to elementary school she became friends with Miranda and Ella, along with other students. Her parents never had enough time to hire babysitters, so they always took Auggie to all of Via's plays, concerts, bake sales, book fairs, and other special occasions. Everyone in the school knew him, Via's friends, her teachers, her friends' parents, even the janitor knew him!
At middle school all her old friends still knew him, but her new friends didn't. Sometimes the kids would call Auggie, "a brother who's deformed". Via hated it when someone called her brother, "deformed". Soon she grew more sensitive on whoever was fearful towards Auggie, even if they didn't mean it.
After Auggie Started School
At high school, Via was excited that she didn't have to worry about being insulted on anyone in a totally new place. She noticed that Miranda and Ella had negatively changed on the way they looked and how they acted. Via felt uncomfortable and moved on with the smart kids, which was how she met Justin. Via later signed up for Theater along with Justin and Miranda. Via and Miranda both auditioned to play the female protagonitst of this year's play, Our Town, but Via only got the understudy. Despite that, she feels better when Justin is there. The two later start dating.
Via became worrysome when August started school. She felt like it would be a huge nightmare. On Halloween, August told his sister about how Jack was saying mean stuff to him. Via convinced the best way to get over it, was to not think or even spend time with Jack again. Auggie feels better and stops hanging out with Jack and more with Summer. Though eventually, Jack apologized for what he done.
Via lied about being an only child to Justin. She warns him not to insult Auggie when he visits him for the first time, which he doesn't. Justin becomes curious if Via and Miranda had known each other, but Via feels anxious about thinking about Miranda, then she cries to her boyfriend that she never told her parents about the play and fears if they go and take Auggie, everyone will fear and despise her. Later, Via and her mother have an argument about the play. However, Via decides to make mixed descions on who should go the play or not. Auggie fights back on Via thinking that Via doesn't want any of her "fancy" high school friends to know that Auggie was a "freak". Isabel planned to go after him, until their dog Daisy had a terrible stomach virus. Via, August, and Justin mourn about Daisy's loss.
On the play, there was no horrible concern for Via, who took over Miranda's place in the final performance. Eveyone she knew thought she did an amazing job. Via worries about August going to the Nature Retreat and is tearfully happy to see him return. They were also excited to meet their new puppy Bear. Via later celebrates with Auggie in the graduation ceremony along with her friends, Auggie's friends, and their relatives.
August Pullman (Auggie) is Olivia's younger brother who was born with a severe facial deformity. As a result, Via is very protective of him, often losing her cool when she catches people staring at him, even yelling at grown-ups and asking them "What the heck are you looking at?". She loves her brother more than anything, and her parents of course.
Justin is Via's boyfriend whom she meets when she joins Mr. Davenport's Drama Club. When she sees him for the first time, she has an instant crush on him.
Grans is Olivia's maternal grandmother. While she was alive, she and Olivia were very close. She told Olivia that she loved her more than anyone else in the world, even August. That special connection stayed with them even after Grans' death.
Olivia always loved her parents. They are kind, and not the bossy type. Her parents are rarely worried about her, so she feels proud, but also left out because they tend to spend more time looking after Auggie.
Miranda and Ella
Via had been close friends with Miranda and Ella since first grade. Both had known August since he was a baby, and they always wanted to play with him, such as dress-up. Out of the three girls, Miranda was the sweetest to Auggie. Their relationship had been a happy one until the summer before 9th grade. Miranda and Ella had changed their looks to become more mature, and attractive. They also became more sassy and rude for their personalites. Via left the girls to spend time with a smart and diverse crowd(featuring Justin). Ella didn't seem to care about Via anymore, but Miranda reformed feeling guilty about losing a good friend after treating her unkindly. Miranda later reunites with Via after the performance of Our Town.
- "really beautiful. with olive skin and the bluest eyes i've ever seen in my life."
- — Justin
- "Out of the three of us, she was totally the prettiest: blue, blue eyes and long wavy dark hair."
- — Miranda
R.J. Palacio on Olivia
"I think Via is torn between her own version of returning to Earth, which is the world August inhabits (and sometimes inhibits), and choosing the freedom of space, which is the world beyond August and everything he represents."
"So much to say about Via, a character as near and dear to my heart as August is. She's so fierce and tender at the same time, so grown up before her time, too. She has a good head on her shoulders, and knows better than to even try to pull any of the typical teenage rebellion stuff: there's just too much stuff going on in her parents' lives to burden them with that. She's not perfect, though: she has a temper, and she gets resentful at times. But when she loves she loves with all her heart, and she's a loyal friend. August couldn't have asked for a better older sister. "The universe takes care of all its birds."