Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Wheel on the School, Meindert DeJong, Harper, 1954, 298 pp

Per my new schedule and this being Sunday, I present a micro-review of the Newbery Award winner for 1955, written for 8-12 year old readers. The story is set in Holland in a fishing village on the North Sea. A group of school children decide to bring storks back to their village. In order to get the storks to nest on their school house roof, they must procure a wagon wheel.

It is a great adventure story filled with challenges and insights into life in such a place. The kids find old people who become their friends as they work together to bring back the storks. They brave all sorts of weather and find their strengths. I was entirely drawn into the story.

The illustrations are by Maurice Sendak, very early in his career. They bring the story of a foreign place alive. Altogether a book worthy of the award.

(The Wheel on the School is available on the Newbery Award shelf at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)


  1. I am in the middle of reading all the Newbery's, I have about 20 left. I found your blog because I wanted to see if other people were doing this project too. You can see my blog at I am 9 and wonder if I will find some other kids my age who finish too.
    thanks for the blog!

  2. Laura,welcome to Keep the Wisdom. I am excited by your reading project, as you can imagine. Which Newbery Winners have you liked the best so far? Two of my favorites have been Adam of the Road and The Twenty One Balloons.

  3. So far I Hitty, Her First Hundred Years and Caddie Woodlawn. I also really liked The Twenty One Balloons but I haven't read Adam of the Road yet. I will soon! Thanks for visiting my blog! And I LOVE bookstores so I think you have a great job.