The Wheel on the School
This drama by Meindert DeJong is published by HarperCollins Publishers and is written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Lina asks why the storks no longer nest in her city, Shora. Her teacher urges all his pupils to wonder along with Lina. The children's curiosity leads to an investigation. Soon they're involving their whole Dutch fishing village in efforts to learn about storks and find a way to bring them back to Shora. As they hunt for an old wagon wheel to use as a nest, even elderly and disabled townspeople try to bolster the children's efforts. Not only do the people of Shora get the storks back, but they also discover what can happen when a community works together.
Most townspeople attend church, and Janus, a lapsed churchgoer, rejoins the congregation when he feels his bond with the community deepening. The fishermen and their families readily attribute their safety to intervention from God, who protects them through life's literal storms, and they seem eager to attend church to demonstrate their gratitude for His provision. When the men of the village are badgered into helping put a wheel on the schoolhouse roof, the teacher humorously references Solomon and his proverb about it being better to sit on the roof of a house than inside with a nagging wife.
Other Belief Systems
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Readability Age Range
9 to 12
Newbery Medal, 1955; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1973; ALA Notable Children's Books of 1940 to 1970