The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School

3.93 (10,925 ratings by Goodreads)
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Why did 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. They had to overcome many obstacles, including the fierce and threatening sea. But they wouldn't give up - and soon their determination and their vision got the whole village working, until at last the dream began to come true.
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Product details

  • 0-5
  • Paperback | 298 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 15.24mm | 249.47g
  • HarperCollins Children's Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0064400212
  • 9780064400213
  • 60,552

Review quote

"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."-- "BL.""0nce again DeJong demonstrates his kinship with children and creatures as he builds up his narrative with brilliant detail and penetrating characterization." "-- Catholic Library World""The whole thing trembles with impatience and anxiety." "-- The Times Literary Supplement""Once more Mr. Dejong has written, with literary skill, a heartfelt story."" -- Commonweal."" . . a happy story, written with the freshness and beauty and understanding of youngsters that make this author's stories unforgettable." "-- Saturday Review""Meindert DeJong thinks as a child thinks. His writing has style, humor, tenderness and freshness. it is difficult to imagine drawings more in tune with the text than these unforgettable ones by Maurice Sendak." "-- The New York Times"
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Rating details

10,925 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 36% (3,963)
4 32% (3,507)
3 23% (2,505)
2 6% (635)
1 3% (315)

Our customer reviews

This is a re-read for me. The first time I read it aloud to my eldest about 15 years ago and we both loved it so much. I went on to read several more of the author's books after that, also enjoying them. I was looking forward to this re-read. I was a little disappointed as the story was much slower than I had remembered and at first I actually thought it was boring. So it did take me some time to get into it this time, though I hardly remembered the story except the basic plot. I did find my groove though, and settled down with this old-fashioned story, set in a different time in a different world, pre-WWII Netherlands. This is a sweet story about children and their love for animals, storks in this case. It's a time when children roamed the countryside all day long, unsupervised. The first good chunk of the book sets up the plot and not a lot of events happen, though Dejong is a beautiful writer and we soon feel the sense of this time, this place and these people. Once the hunt for the wheel begins, action enters the story and each individual child has an event happen along the way. Some of these adventures are what we would consider today, well anytime really!, quite dangerous and make for exciting reading. It dramatically contrasts what childhood was like in those bygone days compared to today. Everyone will shake their heads but, some will be with regret, others with thankfulness, that those times have passed. I do think this is a beautifully written story, with a lovely message; a sweet story in a way, but a real one as well, these children are hardly all sugar-and-spice. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a book many modern-day children will have the patience to read themselves and I recommend it be used as a read-aloud. There is so much to discuss! I'm a huge fan of Maurice Sendak but his illustrations in this book are only middle of the road, recognisable as his work certainly but nothing more
by Nicola Mansfield
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