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Wheel On The School [Paperback]

Meindert Dejong
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 5 1972

Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.

Winner, 1955 Newbery Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1940–1970 (ALA)
1963 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award


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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Although a bit slow-paced, this 1955 Newbery Award-winner by Meindert DeJong (Harper, 1954) is pleasant and positive. Curious schoolgirl Lina wonders why there are no longer any storks in her Dutch village. Determined to lure the storks (symbols of good fortune) back, Lina inspires the whole community to cooperate and get to know each other better in their effort to locate wheels in which storks can nest. Lina is a spunky girl who does not give up on her dream. The characters are likeable and get into dangerous and suspenseful situations. Their names may sound strange to the American ear (e.g., Auka, Jella, Eelka). Listeners will learn something about Danish culture while enjoying the story. It will take a while for students to get used to narrator Anne Flosnik's British accent. The narration is steady in tempo, and she changes her voice for different characters.
Erin Caskey, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

". . . a happy story, written with the freshness and beauty and understanding of youngsters that make this author's stories unforgettable." -- -- Saturday Review

"Once more Mr. Dejong has written, with literary skill, a heartfelt story." -- -- Commonweal

"The whole thing trembles with impatience and anxiety." -- -- The Times Literary Supplement

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
TO START with there was Shora. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes a Good Read-Aloud July 20 2014
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a re-read for me. The first time I read it aloud to my eldest about 15 years ago and we both loved it so much. I went on to read several more of the author's books after that, also enjoying them. I was looking forward to this re-read. I was a little disappointed as the story was much slower than I had remembered and at first I actually thought it was boring. So it did take me some time to get into it this time, though I hardly remembered the story except the basic plot. I did find my groove though, and settled down with this old-fashioned story, set in a different time in a different world, pre-WWII Netherlands. This is a sweet story about children and their love for animals, storks in this case. It's a time when children roamed the countryside all day long, unsupervised. The first good chunk of the book sets up the plot and not a lot of events happen, though Dejong is a beautiful writer and we soon feel the sense of this time, this place and these people. Once the hunt for the wheel begins, action enters the story and each individual child has an event happen along the way. Some of these adventures are what we would consider today, well anytime really!, quite dangerous and make for exciting reading. It dramatically contrasts what childhood was like in those bygone days compared to today. Everyone will shake their heads but, some will be with regret, others with thankfulness, that those times have passed. I do think this is a beautifully written story, with a lovely message; a sweet story in a way, but a real one as well, these children are hardly all sugar-and-spice. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a book many modern-day children will have the patience to read themselves and I recommend it be used as a read-aloud. There is so much to discuss! I'm a huge fan of Maurice Sendak but his illustrations in this book are only middle of the road, recognisable as his work certainly but nothing special.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Story With Heart and Soul March 15 2004
Format:Paperback
Meindert DeJong's literary voice is one of a old man sitting on a bench telling this charming tale with realism and character. This story takes you away to Shora, a small, fishing village where life has a pace of its own. The characters, mostly children, develop fully within the context of this inspiring story about their determination and ability to change their world. It is definitely one of those books you read furiously and hate to have end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wow Jan. 17 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My title sums up my feelings about this book. The name "The Wheel On the School" sounds too much like a child's song than a Newbery Medal. When I started reading it though, I was hooked. It has a very original plot and is written by a great writer (He has won the most Newbery Medals and Honors ever). The basic plot: a girl named Lina goes to a school in Holland with five other kids. She decides to try to get some storks to come to her village, and all the school kids try to help her. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who does not mind reading a book this long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every kid should read this June 28 2002
By Eric
Format:Paperback
I was in 6th grade and I still find this book really interesting. It tells the story of kids at a northern Denmark, who ponder and act on the mystery for why the stoks migrating from Africa never came back one year to the wheels which were on top of houses in their village. The storks were a part of their life and for the children to not find them one year was really saddening. "The Wheel on the School" incorportates mystery and suspense as well as adventure. In addition we learn about the culture of Denmark, including the traditional wooden shoes and dikes which prevented flooding. I really think it is essential for any child to read this book. I loved this book when I read it and I know you or your child will too. It shows that even though a certain culture may be different, some aspects such as adventure and mystery can still stay the same.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Simple, Easy to understand March 13 2002
Format:Paperback
I read this book twice, and each time, I enjoyed it greatly. Even though it doesn't have any action with guns and blood, this little book is written as if a child wrote it (but it is much too long for a child to have written it!). A 2nd grader could understand this book, but a grown human could enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathlessly exciting! Oct. 25 2001
Format:Paperback
Ok I'll admit I was very skeptical. The premise does seem a bit dry. School children band together to find a wheel to put on their school and attract storks....I was not excited by the prospect. Thank goodness I decided to read it aloud to my children anyway! Some parts of this book are so exciting and suspenseful that I literally had sweaty palms during the reading.
And just because it is a rousing good tale doesn't mean that there aren't some wonderful life lessons to be learned by it as well. Perserverance. Friendship. And the reality the EVERYONE has something to offer to common good. This is a timeless story with appeal to all ages. Grown-ups will enjoy reading this aloud as much as their children will enjoy hearing it. I confess....I read to the end because I couldn't wait for the next read-aloud session.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathlessly exciting! Oct. 25 2001
Format:Paperback
Ok I'll admit I was very skeptical. The premise does seem a bit dry. School children band together to find a wheel to put on their school and attract storks....I was not excited by the prospect. Thank goodness I decided to read it aloud to my children anyway! Some parts of this book are so exciting and suspenseful that I literally had sweaty palms during the reading.
And just because it is a rousing good tale doesn't mean that there aren't some wonderful life lessons to be learned by it as well. Perserverance. Friendship. And the reality the EVERYONE has something to offer to common good. This is a timeless story with appeal to all ages. Grown-ups will enjoy reading this aloud as much as their children will enjoy hearing it. I confess....I read to the end because I couldn't wait for the next read-aloud session.
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