J. Palacio bases the story on a 10-year old boy called August. Because his face is disfigured, people fear to look at him. He goes through several surgeries which rectify his face, so he is forced to study at home. In 5th grade, he is taken to a regular school to continue with his education.
Before he begins learning officially, he goes to check the conditions in his new school. Two students are friendly to him while one acts mean. His first day is marred with mixed reaction. Most people do not want to interact with him. He makes a friend called Jack. At lunchtime, Summer, a girl at the school, joins him.
Regardless of the cold treatment, August receives from some of the kids in school, and he enjoys learning. He is diligent and excels in academic work. Aggie loves Halloween. He feels normal with hos face covered during the event. During Halloween commemoration while in school, he hears jack telling other students that he does not like being Aggie’s friend. With that knowledge, Aggie does not feel comfortable with Jack anymore.
As Aggie is struggling with how to fit in, his sister is struggling to get her identity and her position n the family. She has lost most of the friends she had before. Moreover, she has to cope with the new boyfriend she has.
When Jack notices that Aggie knows about the negative comment he made during Halloween, he realizes that he is no longer close to the friend. Jack apologizes, and they become friends again. The other kids are not happy; Jack is friendly to Aggie.
During a school retreat, Aggie faces strange bullies. Fortunately, some classmates defend Aggie. He gets new friends in the process. With time, Aggie fits in within the school system. Other students begin noticing that Aggie is brilliant.
Meanwhile, Via now understands who she is, becomes friends with Miranda and becomes more loving to Aggie. Via and Aggie had disconnected from each other because of the changes in their personal lives.
Aggie and his friends graduate when the complete 6th grade. It is a happy time for all of them and Aggie. A speech by the principal during the graduation emphasizes on the need to be friendlier to people. Aggie appreciates the fact that his mother opted to take him to a regular school.