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Written by Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Candlewick Press 1999
ISBN:  0-7636-0006-7 (hardcover)
ISBN:  978-0-7636-1052-4 (paperback)

“One summer, Wesley, an oddball kid with whom nobody will play at school, has an idea:  he’ll invent his own language and a backyard civilization to go along with it.”
-Parenting Magazine


Publishers’s Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year
Smithsonian Notable Book for Children
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
American Library Association Notable Children’s Book
Child Magazine Best Book of the Year
Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Winner
Kate Greenaway Medal


“This fantastical picture book, like its hero, is bursting at the seams with creativity... A vigorous shot in the arm to nonconformists everywhere ... It's difficult to imagine a better pairing than Fleischman and Hawkes to bring this one of a kind kid — and his universe — so vividly to life.”
Publishers Weekly - starred review

“Beginning with the discovery of a new staple crop that Wesley christens "swist," the idea works superbly, its flowering caught equally well in text and illustrations that seamlessly flow together from beginning to end. Double-page spreads explode with color barely contained within the book.
Horn Book - starred review

Insider's Scoop

I asked Paul Fleischman about Wesley’s new alphabet.  He sent me some symbols that he thought Wesley would have used.  I took those symbols and gave them each a letter value and wrote a letter to Paul Fleischman in Weslandic.  The letter can be found on the endpapers (it’s the first thing you see when you open the book!)  If you like cracking codes, give it a try!!  

And by the way, I came up with the idea for Wesley’s outdoor game before Quidditch! 

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