Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

Book Description:
Why do 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 to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.

My thoughts:
We are slowly working our way through our additional reading list for the year. Since we had read a lot of fantasy lately and I needed a change of genres,  I picked The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong.  The Wheel on the School does start our a little slow laying the groundwork for finding a wheel for the school, but as new characters are added the story quickly becomes interesting and by the end you are totally engrossed in the story. This is not only is the story about finding a wheel so that Shora might attract storks, but it is a story of friendship, family, and whaat can happen when everyone works together.

At the beginning of the story the village and people of Shora seem old and mean and honestly kind of boring. Definitely not a place where a child would want to grow up at. But as the children begin to notice that they don't have any storks in their village they begin to ask questions and to befriend many people in the village and everyone works together to bring storks to Shora. The story builds into a very exciting and suspenseful climax and leaves the reader just a little disappointed when the book ends.

My kids really enjoyed this read, more so than Along Came a Dog, which we read last year. The Wheel on the School is an exciting, funny, and 'feel good' story. Highly recommended!


  1. I started reading Along Came a Dog to my girls a year or more ago and didn't stick with it. This one sounds like a good read-aloud, though. Thanks so much for reminding me of it.

  2. Oh, we loved The Wheel on the School! Yes, it does start a tad slow, but it is worth the effort through those beginnings.

  3. This was one of my husband's favorite books to read aloud to the boys. I haven't read it yet, though. Thanks for the good review.



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