Randalls Wall

( 1 )

Overview

Inside your wall, no one can touch you
It was Randall's sister who first told him about the invisible wall that protected her from the cruelty of her classmates. By the time Randall is in fifth grade, he's had his own wall for years. Inside his wall, he doesn't have to think about his abusive father, gone for several months, or his thin, suffering mother, who never leaves the house — the house with no running water for laundry or baths. Inside his wall, he can dream about ...

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Overview

Inside your wall, no one can touch you
It was Randall's sister who first told him about the invisible wall that protected her from the cruelty of her classmates. By the time Randall is in fifth grade, he's had his own wall for years. Inside his wall, he doesn't have to think about his abusive father, gone for several months, or his thin, suffering mother, who never leaves the house — the house with no running water for laundry or baths. Inside his wall, he can dream about picnics, about riding on his Uncle Luke's motorcycle, and, always, he can lose himself in his drawing.
But one day Randall makes a friend, and slowly, frighteningly, his wall begins to crumble. And miraculously, the gift that comforted Randall within his wall opens up a new world outside it.

Artistically talented but socioeconomically underprivileged, a fifth-grade boy has built a wall of defense to protect himself from the pain of human relationships--a wall which begins to crumble when a dynamic and compassionate classmate decides to interfere in his life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rivaling Sarah-Kate of Afternoon of the Elves and the Herdman children of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as the poorest, dirtiest kid in town, Randall Lord is shunned by all of his classmates except spunky Jean, whom he saves from a quick-fisted bully. After Jean takes Randall home and persuades him to take a bath, the ``invisible wall'' that has surrounded the fifth grader seems to disappear with all the grime--if Randall's popularity does not increase, he does, at least, become more approachable. Meanwhile, Randall's teacher displays his impressive drawings at school, and citizens of the community take steps to help the artist and his impoverished family. A deftly contemporary Cinderella story, this winsome tale is filled with warmth and spiced with vibrant narrative. Besides presenting Randall's point of view, Fenner ( Gorilla, Gorilla ; A Summer of Horses ) explores the changing attitudes of other characters who are at first repelled by Randall's background and appearance. While some will find the happy ending unrealistic, most readers will be touched by the sudden turn of events that celebrates friendship and compassion. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Randall Lord was ignored by his classmates, his teachers, and even the social worker. His only comfort was in his drawings which he kept hidden from everyone. The wall he built around himself was as solid and impenetrable as any fortress; it was a wall of dirt, smells, and silence. But no defense is perfect and Randall's wall soon came tumbling down with the help of a dynamic but compassionate girl in his class. Fenner's story is touching, warmhearted, and memorable.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- The name Randall Lord sounds so elegant. The irony is that it is attached to a boy who is, in fact, so filthy that he is shunned by his fifth-grade classmates and avoided by his teachers. All of the Lord children have met with similar treatment. They have no running water at home, their abusive father is usually not around, and their mother is dysfunctional. Randall retreats from the harshness of reality behind an invisible wall of dreams and imagination that he translates into beautiful, sensitive drawings that he keeps hidden from his teacher and classmates. He is taken aback when Jean, a classmate whom he secretly admires, begins to treat him as a person and include him in her life. At first she is merely intent on improving Randall's hygiene, but her concern blossoms into friendship. Having a friend causes the boy's protective wall to crumble as he is pulled into the mainstream of life. When their teacher discovers the young artist's talent, it becomes apparent that some big changes are in store for the Lord family. Fenner presents a disturbing yet believable story of a down-and-out family who has fallen through the cracks of the system. Both Randall and Jean are especially convincing characters whom readers come to like and to care about. The serious and sometimes tragic tone is tempered by some touches of real humor. A well-written, compassionate story. --Laura Culberg, Chicago Public Library Cultural Center
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689835582
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 421,457
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2001

    From Ashley Paquette

    I think Randall's Wall was an excellent story.The part I liked best was when Randall's friend excepted Randall for who he was.Anyway all of my friends have read it Amanda, Megan,Kelcie,Rachel,Ashley,and Ashley.This is a excellent acceptable story.

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