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The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School

4.3 8
by Meindert De Jong, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

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Six schoolchildren bring the storks back to their little Dutch village.


Six schoolchildren bring the storks back to their little Dutch village.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This 1955 Newbery Award-winner by Meindert Dejojng, set in a small Dutch fishing village, tells the story of a young girl and her simple composition about the storks that build their nests in neighboring villages. When the children wonder why the storks don't nest in their village, the stage is set for a dramatic challenge against all odds. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

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Wheel on the School 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
This book won the 1955 John Newbery Medal. It is the kind of book for which the medal was designed and which deserves the award. I really enjoyed this story which is set in the little Dutch fishing village of Shorra. A schoolgirl named Lina does a report on storks and asks why storks no longer come to Shorra as they do to all the neighboring villages. The teacher tells the students to wonder why, saying when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. They finally decide that it is because there are no wheels on the roofs of the houses in Shorra for the storks to use to nest, so they set about trying to find a wheel to put on the roof of the school. In the process, the six schoolchildren, who have their petty dislikes and spats, learn to work together in finding a wheel and, more importantly in contrast to so much drivel that passes for children's literature today where the children go off all by themselves and just about every adult with whom they interact is evil or completely stupid, the Shorras children learn to enlist the help of and to work with adults to accomplish their goal. There are a few instances where men are said to smoke pipes. The language contains nothing worse than a few times when the children say, "Golly," and a couple of times when one of the adults says, "Blasted." This is a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When storks no longer come to Shora, kids think hard and then they begin to come back. A kid's thinking and wishes are often answered when they believe enough in them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that draws you in, word by word. You are happy to find yourself among these characters, and you don't want to leave them. I have read it aloud to a class of 4th graders. They were not book-lovers when they came to me. Yet when we arrived at the end of the chapter each day, they begged for 'one more chapter.' This book will make you smile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am now twelve, but I read this book when I was ten. Parts of the book were clever, cute, and witty, but others were very boring. If you like reading over and over about how to tie a knot or how to row a boat, this book is for you. I, personally, do not like reading about how exactly something is done. Now, The Wheel on the School is not 'descriptive', it is past that. There aren't any descrpitve moments, it gets to the point where it's just monotonous. I know that many people would like to read about how to do something, but I do not enjoy that. There wasn't much excitement. Now, some of the ideas in the book were cute, but I thought most of the book was.........boring. Just my 12-year-old opinion, though.........SFI
Guest More than 1 year ago
I especially liked this book because it had everything from action to suspense and hope. There were parts from different sections which linked together at some point like when the children go searching for a wagon wheel. I really didn't like the way Janus kept appearing so often. It was as if he was the protagonist. I would definitly recommend this book to other people (including adults) even though it looks very childish. The most exciting part was when Eelka was trying to get the wagon wheel and broke it while almost losing his life. In the beginning, it seems as if the book would be boring because the children get excited just because they were let out early. There is no excitement which starts to build when the children start looking for a wagon wheel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Wheel on the School has become one of my family's favorite children's books. A great family read-aloud. My children, ages 8 and 10, loved it. The beginning of the book is a bit slow but keep reading. It is an exceptional story, which is why it won the Newbery Award. I still don't understand why this book is not more well-known.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful and artfully told story of a village full of people who hardly know each other until one little girl is encouraged to dream of a way to bring storkes to their town. Enjoyable, funny and thoughtful The Wheel on the School can be read and re-read by people of all ages. I loved this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have successfully taught The Wheel on the School to three different groups of 7th graders. The THEME of the book is that EVERYBODY IS IMPORTANT. Kids tend to think that they're the only ones who really matter, and they can be cruel to people who are different. In this book, a small group of children are hoping to attract storks to their little fishing village, yet every part of the community eventually gets involved. DeJong has artfully managed to 'get inside the heads' of each one of his young characters. My students have found that they can relate to these kids. Guess what? No bad language; no violence; no sex; no disrespect for adults. Like I said, it's a great book to teach.