Carmine's Reviews > The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
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's review
Nov 09, 09

bookshelves: family, school-stories, juvenile-fiction, realistic-fiction, newbery
Recommended to Carmine by: the Sendak biog I was reading
Recommended for: family read aloud
Read in November, 2009

Very charming story about six children in Holland determined to bring storks back to their village on the North Sea. I didn't think that a book about kids trying to find a wheel to put on their school would be so gripping, but this was hard to put down. There are some moments of real peril for the these children who live up against the edge of a dike next to the sea. We're talking edge of the seat action involving row boats, incoming tides, church steeples and falling out of hay mows. I have a hard time imagining the story when I try to put it in a contemporary setting...would children today risk their lives to hang bird houses to lure birds to settle nearby? Were children ever that way? I guess when you think of the tulip mania that possessed Holland, perhaps the children in the book caught a variant...a stork fever. Well, I caught it too. The children's passion and perseverance is infectious and their whole village gets drawn into the scheme.

Absolute gem...would make a great read aloud.

Newbery winner 1954
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