|“||Some things you just can't explain. You don't even try. You don't know where to start. All your sentences would jumble up like giant knot if you opened your mouth. Any words you used would come out wrong.||”|
— Jack Will, Wonder
Jack Will is a main character in Wonder. He attends school at Beecher Prep. He is one of August's best friends. Along with Julian and Charlotte, he was asked by Mr. Tushman at the beginning of the year to be one of August's welcoming buddies.
At the beginning of the year, Mr. Tushman asked Jack, along with Charlotte and Julian to give August a tour of Beecher Prep. Because August was the boy at which his little brother, Jamie, had once stared at an ice cream store, receiving a cold look from August's sister, Via, Jack was reluctant to agree to do it at first. However, he eventually agreed to do it because he knew that if someone nice like his little brother could be that mean, then August didn't stand a chance in middle school. Also at the beginning of the year, Jack is the boy that is nice generally, unlike Charlotte Cody and Julian Albans
Jack does actually protect August from Julian during their tour of the school. After Julian rudely asks August if he was in a fire or something, though he had been told August had been born like that, Jack responds by telling Julian to shut up.
Once school begins, Jack and August sit next to each other in many of their classes. They are partnered together for many projects, do their homework together, and become close friends. Jack even
decides that if he got to choose anyone to hang out with out of all of the fifth grade, and if they were all lined up, he would choose August.
Their friendship, however, goes through a rough patch due to an event on Halloween. Knowing that Julian along with a lot of other people thought he was weird for being friends with August, he made fun of him with Julian. He mocked his appearance and said that if he had August's face, he would kill himself. They didn't realize that August was actually sitting in the room, as he came dressed as a Bleeding Scream, rather than Boba Fett, as he had originally planned.
After hearing Jack's remarks, August didn't come back to school for a while. When he finally did, he stayed away from Jack. Trying to figure out why August had become estranged from him, Jack begged Summer for some answers. Not wanting to betray August, Summer finally gave Jack the hint "Bleeding Scream," which confused him.
One day in science class, Summer's words finally clicked into place in Jack's head. He remembered that when he had talked about August on Halloween there had been another student there dressed as a Bleeding Scream. Realizing that August was that kid, Jack felt horrible. He knew he had been mean and that what he did was stupid, but he didn't really know why he did it.
Soon after Jack realized what he had done, he was partnered up with August for a project. When he looked around to find August, Julian saw him. He approached Jack and told him that he should ask Ms. Rubin if he could switch partners so he wouldn't have to be with August. When Jack said he didn't want to, Julian called out to Ms. Rubin and asked if they could switch partners if they wanted to. When Ms. Rubin said that they'd be able to arrange something, Jack quickly responded that it was okay and said bye. After they both walked out of the room, Julian asked Jack why he did that since they could have been partners and he didn't have to be partners with August, who he referred to as "that freak." In response, Jack punched him in the mouth, knocking out one of his baby teeth. Afterwards, Jack got into a fight with Julian Albans
During his suspension for punching Julian, Jack wrote brief apologies to Julian and Mr. Tushman. In his apology to Mr. Tushman, he said that he was sorry for what he did, but would not share the reason for why he did it because it still didn't completely justify what he did. He then added that he didn't want to get Julian in trouble for something he should not have said. In his apology to Julian, Jack said that he was sorry for hitting him as it was wrong for him to do and hoped that he was okay and that his grownup tooth would grow in fast as his own always did.
In response to Jack's apology to him, Mr. Tushman wrote him a letter. He thanked him for his letter and said that he knew that there were always two sides to every story. Sharing that he had an idea of what may have sparked their fight, Mr. Tushman stated that while nothing ever justified hitting another student, good friends were worth defending. In the end of his letter, he recognized that it had been a hard year for a lot of students and told Jack to keep up the good work of being the fine boy he knew he was.
After speaking with the Wills, Melissa Albans, Julian's mother, wrote a letter to Mr. Tushman. She talked about how Julian and Jack had been friends since kindergarten and that she and her husband supported allowing Jack to come back to school. Mrs. Albans then said that she though that Jack's behavior might have been the result of too much pressure. Julian, she said, had told her that he was having a hard time trying to befriend August, so she and her husband told him that it was okay and that he didn't have to befriend him. She said that it was too much to expect of fifth graders to befriend a boy like August. At the end of her letter, Mrs. Albans said that along with many other parents, she was troubled that August had been allowed to enroll at Beecher Prep as it was not an inclusion school and she suspected that he was not held to the same application standards as other incoming middle schoolers .
Mr. Tushman responded to the Albans' letter, explaining his decisions. To start of the letter, he assured them that Jack was sorry for his actions and that he would not be allowing him back into the school if he was not confident that Jack would not repeat those actions. He then went on to explain that, regardless of whether or not Beecher Prep was an inclusion school, August did not have any special needs, so there was no reason to assume that anyone would have a problem with it. In regards to August's application, he stated that the reason for why his interview was not held on campus was obvious. Their break in protocol was justified and was not due to prejudice as August was an exceptional student and had secured bonds with some very special people, such as Jack. His request that some students help welcome August, he explained, was an attempt to help ease August into the new middle school environment. He thought it would also be good for those who helped August as it would teach them about empathy, friendship, and loyalty. In his closing statements, Mr. Tushman remarked that Jack didn't have to be taught any of those virtues as he already had an abundance of them.
Jack's parents also wrote the Albans an apology. They said that they were sorry for Jack's actions and offered to pay Julian's dental bills. While they were touched by the Albans concern regarding the friendship of Jack and August, they explained that, as Jack had told them, he did not feel any undue pressure about it and enjoyed August's company and his friendship.
After realizing that he had been removed from August's friends on Facebook, Jack sent him another friend request. he also messaged August, saying that he was sorry and didn't actually mean what he said. He asked for forgiveness and said that he hoped that they could be friends again. August responded, asking if Summer had told Jack why he was mad. Jack explained that Summer merely gave him a hint, but did not actually tell him what happened. After some back and forth messaging, August agreed to be friends with Jack again.
When Jack got back to school, he discovered that Julian had turned much of the student body against him. Even Luca and Isaiah, who he usually sat with at lunch and Amos, who usually stayed out of those kind of things ignored or ditched him. Finally, Charlotte explained to him what had happened. She told him that Mrs. Albans had told the parents at a party what had happened, that Jack had emotional problems, and that he would have been expelled had she and her husband begged the school not to do so as none of it would have happened if Mr. Tushman hadn't asked him to be friends with August in the first place. She was even pushing the school to review August's application process, claiming that Beecher Prep was not an inclusion school. Julian said that he thought being friends with August was bad for Jack and the only way he'd realize that was if he started to lose all of his other friends. Charlotte explained that except for Savanna's group, the girls were mostly staying out of it, regarding it as a boys' war. Finally, after many attempts to sit down with other students at their tables for lunch, only to be ditched, Jack joined Summer and August at their table.
When Julian started leaving notes in Jack's and August's lockers, they started to leave him notes too. However, they weren't mean like Julian's notes. Jack and August made up a person named Beulah, who had really gross habits and a crush on Julian. They left funny and sarcastic notes in Julian's locker that said that they were from Beulah.
Because they couldn't risk getting caught playing tricks on August as it would probably result in more harsh punishment, the boys on Julian's side took to playing tricks on Jack. Once they even stole his gym shorts and played Monkey in the Middle with them in the locker room. Another time, when they had a substitute teacher, Miles grabbed Jack's worksheet off his desk, crumpled it into a ball, and tossed it to Julian across the room. Jack pretended that he wasn't letting them get to him, but it did actually really upset him.
Over time, the people started to get tired of the "war." At first, except for Savanna's group, the girls were neutral, However, by March, both the girls and the boys were sick of it. They stopped putting up with Julian as much, sometimes even helping Jack and August.
At the nature retreat, Jack and August get lost. They are trying to find their way back to the main group watching the movie, but instead run into a bunch of seventh graders. The other students taunt them, specifically targeting Auggie. One of them, whose name was Eddie, screams and calls Auggie names when he sees his face. Despite Jack and Auggie's numerous attempts to say that they don't want any trouble, Finally, Amos arrives, with Henry and Miles behind him, and tells them to back off. When they refuse, instead grabbing Auggie, Amos rams into Eddie. He then tells them to run, so Jack runs off with everyone else.
After the incident on the nature retreat, August and Jack are seen in a new light. Amos becomes really popular, while Julian is left out because he didn't come on the retreat.
Before the graduation ceremony, Jack and August sword fight with their rolled up programs. When Summer walks up, August tells her that she looks nice. Jack then tells her in a matter-of-fact way that she looks okay, causing August to realize that Jack has a crush on Summer. Afterwards, Jack goes with the rest of his family, Summer's family, and August's relatives to August's house. They tell stories and laugh, savoring the moment.
- "a totally normal-looking kid with curly blond hair"
- — Justin
R.J. Palacio on Jack
"Jack is a wonderful kid. He's not perfect. He's not sensitive like Summer is, but he knows what's right and wrong. He's not the kind of kid who thinks a lot about the things he does or its impact on others, but he's good-hearted. And courageous. He's the kind of person who will protect the underdogs of the world."-R.J.Palacio