|“||Sometimes it's good to start over||”|
— Julian Albans, Wonder
Julian Albans is a student and the main antagonist in Wonder, along with being the main protagonist in The Julian Chapter. He is the only child of Melissa and Jules Albans. Through fifth grade, he attends school at Beecher Prep Middle School, but leaves at the end of the year.
Through fifth grade, Julian attends school at Beecher Prep Middle School. He bullies August Pullman, along with his former friend, Jack Will, for ditching him and choosing Auggie instead. However, he leaves after fifth grade because his parents don't think Beecher Prep is a good school for him.
In "The Julian Chapter", which is in his point of view, he shows frustration because he's not the most popular kid anymore because of August Pullman. It is revealed that he used to have night terrors when he was younger. His nightmares return when August enrolls at Beecher Prep due to Julian being afraid of him.
Julian claims to have never been mean to Auggie, saying that he was joking when he called August a freak. So naturally, Julian is surprised when Jack punches his mouth. Luckily, Julian only lost a lower molar that was on its way out. Her son's injury devastates Mrs. Albans, which makes her mad at Mr. Tushman, so she complains to other moms about Mr. Tushman. After winter break, Julian finds out that August and Jack were friends again. This makes Julian mad, and he leaves mean notes in their lockers. Mr. Tushman later finds this out, and gets into a fight with Julian's parents. After his two-week suspension, Julian returns to school, and is shocked to find out that August became popular. His friend Henry tells him that August was bullied by some seventh graders from a different school, and he, Miles, and Amos (they used to be part of Julian's group) defended August. Julian is surprised to hear from Henry that if he (Julian)was there, they would've been cheering for the 7th graders. In the end of the book, it is revealed that he got into his new school, and his parents are mad because Beecher Prep didn't want to return the money. He skips the graduation ceremony at the end of the year.
In June, Julian and his parents go to Paris to visit his grandmother and stay there for the rest of the summer. He stays there for the entire summer. Grandmère is a lot different from other grandmothers, and dresses differently and does stuff that other grandmothers don't usually do. Grandmere takes Julian out to expensive restaurants and museums.Julian is bummed out because he never got to tell Mr. Browne, his favorite teacher, that he was leaving. He sends a postcard of a gargoyle saying "Sometimes it's good to start over." and sends a long email explaining the precept. Mr. Browne emails him right back, and this makes Julian really happy. Grandmère asks Julian about what Mr. Browne wrote to make him so happy, and he shows her the email. Of course, there are some parts in the email that she doesn't understand, like "Auggie's physical appearance" and "little afraid of Auggie". Julian tells her about Auggie, and shows her the class photo with Auggie in it. Grandmère agrees that Julian was afraid of Auggie, and tells her the story about someone she was afraid of when she was a little girl. Grandmère was afraid of a boy with polio, nicknamed Tourteau (meaning "crab" in French") because he was so different. She explains that the Maquis(french partisan's or guerrilla fighters who opposed the Nazis) announced that the German Nazis were going to search the school for jewish people.. Grandmère says she hid in the bell tower, and that Tourteau found her. Tourteau took her home through the sewers, and she lived there.(Dannersville) His parents took good care of her. Grandmère's mom was dead and her dad was in Switzerland. Despite this, Grandmère enjoyed being with Tourteau. She felt remorse for what she did when she really got to know Tourteau, who was a nice and mischievous boy. She says, "I don't want to call you Tourteau anymore. What's your name?" Tourteau said, "My name is Julian." This surprises Julian as he says, "Oh my god! Is that why you named dad Julian! And I'm named after dad! So I'm named after this kid! That's so cool!" Grandmère tells Julian that the Nazis killed him for having a physical disability(polio) and that she visited Tourteau's family after she got back to her dad. She says it hurts her feelings when she remembers how mean the other kids were to Tourteau. This makes Julian cry from remorse. Grandmère tells him that he made a mistake, and that he is capable of doing what is right so Julian writes a letter of apology to Auggie. Later, Julian's parents visit them, telling them they're suing Beecher Prep. This surprises Julian and Grandmère. Grandmère says they made a stupid decision. She says, "Jules! Tu as un cerveau comme un sandwich au fromage!" to her son, which makes Julian laugh. That means your brain is a cheese sandwich. Julian's mom gives in, and later, Julian's dad gives in too. Before they leave Paris, they visit the house Grandmère lived with Tourteau's family, and sees their grave. This makes Grandmère cry, as she remembered how nice they were to her. Coincidently, Tourteau's full name is Julian Auguste (French variation of August) Beaumier, and he shares a birthday with Auggie. Later, Julian and his parents return to New York about a week before his new school starts. Julian and his dad gets a voicemail from August saying hi and wishing him luck. This means August forgave him, and they are possibly friends now. Julian's father tells him that he's proud of Julian, and says, "Tu marches toujours le front haut."(which means you should always walk with your head up high) Julian says "I hope so, Dad.", and the story ends.
R.J. Palacio on Julian
"Julian’s major problem is that he never bothers to get to know Auggie, much less be changed or moved by him. As a result, he has nothing to add to Auggie’s story. He is too self-involved to be interested in Auggie, too consumed by what he thinks other kids are thinking about him. So Julian’s story could never enhance Auggie’s storyline the way, say, a relatively minor character like Justin’s does. Justin’s in the book because his romance with Via happens to intersect with Auggie’s story at a very pivotal moment in time, a moment that occurs within the timeframe covered in the book. In that brief time, Justin is transformed because of Auggie, and his actions, however minor, propels the narrative. Julian never undergoes a change. He stays the same throughout the year: an obstacle Auggie and his friends must get around—through his choice and his actions."