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Newbery Pie

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The Wheel on the School: The 1955 Newbery Winner

t seems like I’ve crossed some kind of threshold. The Newbery winners in the 1950’s seem to be getting better, less painful to read.

I really enjoyed this one. I like how the story started with a question. “Why don’t Storks visit our town like they do other towns?” The students thought about it and came up with a hypothesis. This hypothesis led to a plan, and that plan became an obsession. The obsession spread from the students and kind of took over the town and everyone untied for a cause. Grown ups and elderly people the students had never interacted with before became their friends and allies. The books also proves that even in the 1950’s, a narrator could treat a disabled character with respect and not toss out words like “cripple.” There’s no excuse for it in 2015.

The Sendak illustrations, were of course, marvelous.

If I have any criticism of the book, it’s that the story probably could have been told just as effectively in many fewer pages, but that’s my 2015 opinion.

I give it 4 out of 5 Newbery Pies

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