Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Weslandia” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,718 ratings  ·  295 reviews
WESLANDIA honors the misfits—and the creators—among us.

Enter the witty, intriguing world of Weslandia! Now that school is over, Wesley needs a summer project. He’s learned that each civilization needs a staple food crop, so he decides to sow a garden and start his own - civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth, and plants begin to grow. They soon tower above
Paperback, 40 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press (first published June 2nd 1999)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Weslandia, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
N I think Motel of Mysteries by David Macaulay would be great. They would work as book end books-- this one about the development of civilization and…moreI think Motel of Mysteries by David Macaulay would be great. They would work as book end books-- this one about the development of civilization and Motel of Mysteries on the discovery of it ages and ages later. I'd like to use these with high schoolers, especially to help them understand how historians and archaeologists work. What evidence they use and what a difficult puzzle it is to put together.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,718 ratings  ·  295 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Weslandia

This is a book the kids picked out from the library. It has a great message. Wes is extremely smart and he doesn’t like doing things simply because everyone else does. One summer on break, he decides to grow his very own plants. It is extraordinary and it becomes this whole world. Wes is able to make all these discoveries and the kids around the block get interested and start to think it’s cool. They start becoming more like Wes.

I love that this is a recommendation from my niece and nephew. I
Small Creek
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I remember this book coming out when I was still in primary school. I remember pawing through the pages and--for the first time--being impressed by the art. I remember marvelling at Wesley's great ideas and the creation of his own civilisation. I remember, hoping against hope, that the little pot of dirt I left on the verandah would catch some of the seeds that Wesley had. I remember wondering what I would do if I ever got my hands on a piece of Weslandia.

When I was younger, I was a geek like
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of this school year, a teacher told me she was planning on using this book when she started teaching ancient civilizations. So, I went to the library and checked it out.

Inside the book, I found this note:

Note Found in Book

Now, being from a rather small town, I recognized both the names on the note, and I know that this person also teaches ancient civilizations in a different school district. (I'll have to ask if the school ever coughed up the money to buy the books themselves... I hope so, but
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-kids
I loved this picture book about a little boy, Wesley, who doesn't fit in. He doesn't eat junk food or hang out with the "cool" boys. He actually learns something in school. When school gets out Wesley decides he needs a summer project. Magically, some unique seeds float in the air overnight and land in his backyard. The plant grows and it is unlike any plant ever seen. Wesley creates Weslandia, his own civilization using this plant and the products he makes from it.

It's a great story for kids to
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Pretty brilliant book; stands the test of time. I loved it.

A bullied, ingenious boy.

What did he do on his summer vacation? Oh, built a backyard civilization based on one staple crop.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-my-kids
My son loves this book. And any kids' book that uses the word "myriad" correctly is all right by me.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We ADORED this book... it totally honors those of us who don't "fit in" with the rest of the world. It also promotes what I call leadership education.... very, very inspiring and uplifting.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nancy by: Vivian
Shelves: favorites, children-s
An imaginative book with lovely illustrations and great story. If only these kind of problems were solved so easily.
Stephanie  Weatherly
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for use in a middle school.
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
This is such a great book! Paul Fleischman tells a story about how being different is not only okay but great things can come from it. Wesley is different from his town and he knows it. The people in the town want everyone to exactly alike; same haircut, interests, hobbies, etc. Wesley does not fit the mold and doesn’t try to. The story line is creative and inviting. The illustrations are filled with bright, vibrant colors and details. The illustrations really paint
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is fantastic simply because it has captured a premise that is unintuitive and overlooked, and yet was as much a part of my childhood daydreams as any over-done stories of fairies, witches, or wizards.

Weslandia tells the story of a young boy, Wesley, who decides to... wait for it... make his own civilization. Starting from a staple crop, and building up slowly through architecture, writing, language, art, and so forth, Wesley builds the civilization of Weslandia. When I read this, I
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Wesley is a boy who doesn’t seem to fit in with others. He lives in a boring neighborhood where everyone has the same haircut, grows the same crops, and lives in the same style home. Wesley decides to grow his own crop. When he does so, he ends up creating his own civilization. He names it Weslandia. He has edible food, creates his own clothing, language system, and games. Soon, the children of the neighborhood are less interested in picking on Wesley and more interested in participating in ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 5-6 yr old kid (with stained-blue lips) at the library walked up to us and said "hey guys?..." then handed this book to us. Completely random. He then handed my youngest two tattered board books. The cover art of Weslandia intrigued me, so I added it to our checkout pile without even browsing it and thanked the kid (who my older daughter decided was Weird with a capital W).

Was this kid a book fairy?! To my surprise this is exactly the type of book I'd have hoped to stumble upon. Wesley
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
I read this book as it was being used in a class where I was working. I think it is an intelligent story with interesting illustrations. It lends itself nicely to a variety of subjects / issues covered in primary curriculum.
Jan 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I wish i could give this book 10 stars. it is the best picture book EVER!!! it totally left me wanting to make my own civilization
K.L. Lantz
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delightful! I love how Wesley uses things he has learned to make his own summer fun and a lot of friends.
Briarwood Hollow
I like that he made Swist and all of his own stuff and lived on fruits and other things. - G, age 6

It was so nice! He made a hammock. I didn't like them chasing the dog. He was scared. - age 3
Chelsea Radojcic
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Weslandia is a story about an odd ball named Wesley. He is quirky, inventive, and does not readily follow the main stream of people and things around him. He enjoys learning and despite the pressure of others around him, he is true to himself.

I was very very VERY excited to read this book, after reading what the premise of the story was about and seeing other favorable reviews. Before reading it myself, I purchased it, completely confident that this was a book that I wanted in my collection. I
Bryanna Johnson
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman is an enchanting tale of a boy who didn't fit in with those around him in his community or even at school. He was bullied and misunderstood by his parents and other adults for his "unnormal" behavior. When given the opportunity to create a summer project Wesley took his opportunities to its fullest. He used his knowledge from school to create a land of his own creation; a place where he could fit in. His land grew and grew to the point where Wesley could create ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wes is not what his parents or other children expect. When a long summer looms and school is out, Wes decides to experiment in farming. He opens a patch of earth knowing that seeds are carried on the wind. A totally new species of versatile flowering plant takes root in his yard. He discovers that the fruit is edible and produces oil that can be used for bug repelling sun screen. Soon he is selling the juices, weaving clothing, and creating games. He has become completely self sufficient and ...more
Kacie Blakley
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wesley is a young boy that isn't afraid to stray from the status quo. Even his parents think he is a little bit odd. So what does Wesley do over his summer vacation? He builds his own civilization, complete with his own language. Everyone is completely blown away when he begins to grow plants in his own backyard that are unknown to man. It soon turns into a business and place for children of all ages to play. Soon, the summer comes to an end and Wesley has to go back to school, where he was ...more
Jordan Brown
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-etl-2368
Author: Paul Fleischman
Reading Level: Ages 6-10

Fleischman, Paul (1999) Weslandia Cambridge Mass: Candlewick Press

Weslandia follows the story of a boy who does not conform and keeps true to himself. He plants a garden, which grows wildly. From this garden, the boy creates a civilization and culture of his own.

From the get-go, one notices how fantastically illustrated the town is. You know instantly that the book will be vivid and imaginative. The illustrations are lush and a feast for
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Wesley doesn't quite fit in. He doesn't like pizza, soda, or football, and refuses to shave half his head like all the other boys. Nor does he have any friends. But for a summer project he decides to establish his own civilization in the back yard, putting to use some of the things he's learned at school. And thanks to some strange seeds that blow in onto his plot of land, he does that and more.

We used to have this cute little book and my boys loved it. I'm not sure what happened to our copy
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wesley really does march to the beat of his own drummer, and he's happy doing it.

Pity he's stuck in the doldrums of conformist suburbia. Even his parents aren't happy with a quiet, studious kid who doesn't get into trouble - they keep bribing him to wear the idiotic fashions and hairstyles of his classmates instead!

Wesley's not very popular, actually, which is a pity because he's really a pretty awesome kid. For his summer project he decides to start his own civilization. By an amazing
Feb 17, 2010 added it
Shelves: pbgs-1-choice
Wesley does not fit in with the other children in his neighborhood or with what his parents consider "normal". Wesley begins to create his own civilization over summer break.

This book would be great as a social studies book when learning about civilizations. The main character begins with a plant that he can use in many ways. He then uses this plant for food, clothing, shelter, and lotions. Another way to use this book is to talk about bullies. The main character is kind of “odd” and does not
A celebration of creativity and marching to the beat of your own drummer. With its giant plants and unique world, it reminds me a bit of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Robin Raines-Bond
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Very Creative Wes creates his own enchanting summer project. You'll have to read this to believe it. Cool book for loner kids or those having trouble making friends.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: subversive
Man, I wish kids would read this and create a new civilization, this one sucks. Seriously, who devised the 40 hour work week?
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
By Alan Zheng
Thesis: Ordinary is not extraordinary.

Wesley is an oddball kid. He dislikes pizza and soda, he doesn't like football at all, and he refuses to wear his hair like all the other boys are wearing even with his fathers bribe of money. He is not ordinary yet extraordinary read on to find out how he is extraordinary. One thing the book does not say is that Wesley is a good inventor but is pretty obvious considering the pictures of the story.
The book describes that he,
Tara Meyer
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 6th grade
"Weslandia," written by Paul Fleischman is a tale about young boy Westley who simply does not fit in with his peers. As described, he did not like soda and pizza (which really concerned his mother), and would not even shave his head like the other boys (even with his father's $5 bribe). In a town where everything is seemingly the same, Westley strived to embrace his uniqueness. For this reason, he created Weslandia. Weslandia, grown in the backyard garden, was full of unique vegetables and ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Roxaboxen
  • The Sweetest Fig
  • Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909
  • Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
  • Locomotive
  • A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
  • The Widow's Broom
  • First Day Jitters
  • Inch by Inch
  • Journey
  • Exclamation Mark
  • The Good Egg
  • Looking Like Me
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
  • A Piglet Named Mercy
  • Ish
  • The Gardener
  • I Need My Monster
See similar books…
Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »