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The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
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The Wheel on the School (1954)

by Meindert DeJong

Other authors: Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

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» See also 41 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is one of those children's classics that I had never read. It caught my eye because of the cover with a Maurice Sendak illustration. I enjoyed all the little illustrations inside. The story was good too. ( )
  eliorajoy | May 5, 2017 |
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, the Newbery winner in 1955. It was quite the page turner with some very touching moments and a great deal of excitement. I fell in love with the characters especially as I watched their growth. I'll be interested to hear what my book group thought of it. ( )
  njcur | Oct 26, 2016 |
I'm on another Newberry kick. This book is about kids in a fishing village in Holland that decide they want storks to nest in their village. So they go on a quest to find a wagon wheel to put on the roof of their school as a nesting site for the storks. It is a nice story about imagination and curiousity and people working together to make something happen. It was a little too adventurous towards the end for my tastes, otherwise I may have given it four stars. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Summary: A story about a little town that had only six school children. In the beginning a little girl named Lina, read a story she wrote to her class about storks. The teacher let them go early that day, but they had to think about why the storks do not nest in their little town of Shora. They figured out that the reason is because they had no wagon wheel on the top of their roof. They spent most of the book finding a wagon wheel. Each of the six students went on a different a path to locate a wagon wheel. IN the end, they found one, put it on top of the school, and caught two storks and put them with the wheel on top of the school house.

Personal Reflection: The story reminds me about a young Lieutenant during a war was asked to deliver a message to President Garcia, but was not told anything, the LT. had to figure it out on his own. I told that story many times to my Soldiers throughout my career.

Classroom Extension
1. The same lesson that was taught in the book, could be used in any school, and the children could figure out why a bird or other animal is no longer in their immediate area.

2. In a science class, teach nesting habits of different birds, and why they nest in the same area each year.
  jerryrichardson | Apr 12, 2015 |
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. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jul 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
DeJong, Meindertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To start with there was Shora. Shora was a fishing village in Holland.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Once there were storks in the small fishing village of Snowanow there now were none. The children ask why and what could be done?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064400212, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:35 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Six school children bring the storks (harbingers of good luck) back to their little Dutch village. (A story) written with dramatic power and a deep insight into the minds and hearts of children."--Booklist. Newbery Medal; ALA Notable Children's Book.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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