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The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

The Wheel on the School (original 1954; edition 1972)

by Meindert DeJong, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

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1,884235,496 (3.93)41
Title:The Wheel on the School
Authors:Meindert DeJong
Other authors:Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (1972), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Recommended Reading
Tags:ages 9 & up

Work details

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (1954)

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» See also 41 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This cute book won the Newbery Award in 1955. It is illustrated in black and white by Maurice Sendak.

This story takes place in the small village of Shora in the Netherlands. Theonly girl of the 5 students at the town school, Lina, writes a story wondering why Shora doesn't have storks like the neighboring towns. The teacher tells the kids to wonder about it. Which leads to their discussing it. They learn that Shora did have storks, and their oldest neighbors remember them. The students learn they need a wheel on the roof, for storks to nest on. They search for a wheel, and pretty soon the whole town (and neighbors from another town) is involved. They meet older neighbors they have been afraid of or just never spoke to, they have adventures, and they learn each others' strengths. A very sweet story about how you can accomplish something if you work hard, work together, and think outside the box. ( )
  Dreesie | May 29, 2019 |
You can't judge a book by its cover. You can't always judge a book by its synopsis either.
Synopsis: A group of six school children in Holland at some unspecified time in the past, decide they need to put a wagon wheel on the roof of their school so migrating storks will have a place to nest, and will do so in their town, bringing good luck. The entire book is pretty much the story of the kids, and adults that they drag into their scheme, trying to first find a spare wagon wheel, then get it to the school, get it mounted on the roof, and then attract storks. And yet, the book was fun, endearing, and occasionally exciting.
There are no bad guys. A few of the children are benignly naughty, as all children are from time to time. A few of the adults are cranky or short-tempered, as all adults are from time to time, but you always know everyone is good. Whereas most YA books seem to be about family, friendship, or both, this book is more about community and cooperation. What can happen when everyone works together towards a common goal.
It was the 1955 Newbery winner, and I have to wonder if it seemed old fashioned even then. It does now, but in a good way. And although set in Holland, this is not one of those Newbery winners that seem primarily trying to teach another country's life and culture to American children. The story is about things all children will relate to.
I'm not sure who today's audience would be. It seems rather long to engage many 3rd or 4th graders, but they would probably enjoy it the most. Today's middle schooler would probably find it rather naively sweet and therefore something to scoff at. But this 52 year old enjoyed it. ( )
  fingerpost | Mar 28, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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