[nobe-l] NBP-Announce: KIDS: July Book Club Selection - Weslandia

Tony Grima agrima at nbp.org
Thu Jul 2 14:49:20 UTC 2009

July 2009 Book Club Selection
by Paul Fleischman
Print/Braille edition, $6.99
In contracted braille with one tactile illustration (by tactile artist
Ann Cunningham)
Ages 4-8

What do children do when school is out for the summer?
Go crazy with boredom?
Head poolside with friends?
Plan a self-sufficient civilization with its own staple food crop?
That's how Wesley decides to spend his summer vacation.

Wesley is not an ordinary boy: "He alone in his town disliked pizza and
soda, alarming his mother and the school nurse. He found professional
football stupid. He'd refused to shave half his head, the hairstyle worn
by all the other boys, despite his father's bribe of five dollars."

It all starts (the civilization, that is) when Wesley overturns a plot
of ground in his yard to see what new and unknown seeds might blow into
it. In Wesley's new world, he no longer needs a watch because he uses a
flower stalk as a sundial, invents a new sport, develops a natural
suntan lotion and mosquito repellent, a new language and counting
system, well... you'll have to read the book to discover more about
Wesley's new civilization.

Wesley's parents say that he looks happy for the first time in years.
And when he returns to school in September, "He had no shortage of
friends." Weslandia honors people who chart their own course. Kids young
and old will love the once-outcast hero Wesley and his Robinson
Crusoe-style triumphs. (Includes one tactile drawing of Wesley and his
strange plant.)

"My 9-year-old son read this book not long ago. It galvanized him into
action--ever since, he has been building his own Weslandia, making a
lean-to and tools out of all-natural materials, and getting his friends
- M. Weigel, New Jersey

"I thought, due to the subject matter, this book would be over my
toddler's head. I was very wrong. It has become one of her favorites. We
checked it out from the library so often, I bought our own copy, and
have since bought several as gifts for other children. They'll discover
something new every time they read it.  My absolute favorite children's
book. Very highly recommended!"
- Marisa, Washington

"If you can't be a part of THEIR world, make one up for yourself and
they will want to be in your world! I love the way this books teaches a
sort of self reliance and a CAN do attitude. Recommend to children of
all ages."
- M. Poulk, Mississippi

"A profoundly thought provoking look at how people fit into the world,
or make worlds to fit into. A story of a unique soul who chose not to
accept rejection, but use his individuality to create beauty. Told
simply, but with deep, far reaching effects for any reader." - An
Amazon.com reader

"Wonderful and inspiring. I suspect this book is appropriate for many
more people than the simple picture book format would suggest--I found
Wesley's struggle to reflect my own, although I am older than the
intended audience. Wesley manages to change the society he lives in very
much and for the better, a fantasy many of us have. Every former geek,
weirdo and outcast needs to read it, as it is a testimony to originality
and honesty. Perfect. I am glad I found it, and I hope many others do.
Easily one of my favorite books, and one I'll cherish and give to as
many people as I can. Happy reading."
- An Amazon.com reader

To order or read more about this book online, visit

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