by Paul Fleischman

Other authorsKevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1999

Call number



Candlewick (1999), Edition: 1st, 40 pages


Wesley's garden produces a crop of huge, strange plants which provide him with clothing, shelter, food, and drink, thus helping him create his own civilization and changing his life.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ht_storytime
A fun book about using all of the parts of a plant to create an entire civilization, as well as about peer pressure and fitting in. OK for storytime.
LibraryThing member Caratsarsis
I loved how Wesley stood out and did not have a care, he did beat to his own drum. What I didn't like was how Wesley's parents expected him to be "normal" and expected, however that is how some parents are. This is a good book for children who do stand out, have bullies, and take life to create
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something different and magical.
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LibraryThing member mjbengtson
Very Weird. The cool kids in this book wear mohawks and dread lockes. I don't recommend this book becuase I wouldn't want my children acting like some of the characters in this book.
LibraryThing member bsturdevant06
Intermediate, primary
This is a good example of fantasy. The things that Westley does with the plant are not actually possible but the author has done a good job of making it believable. the setting is that a of a boring normal neighborhood, except that the boys all shave half of their heads and
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there are only three crops that anyone grows in thier garden. This allow Wesley to stand out and form a very distinct culture.
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LibraryThing member conuly
Wesley really does march to the beat of his own drummer, and he's happy doing it.

Pity he's stuck in the doldrums of conformist suburbia. Even his parents aren't happy with a quiet, studious kid who doesn't get into trouble - they keep bribing him to wear the idiotic fashions and hairstyles of his
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classmates instead!

Wesley's not very popular, actually, which is a pity because he's really a pretty awesome kid. For his summer project he decides to start his own civilization. By an amazing coincidence, the staple crop he accidentally grows turns out to be a real staple - he can use that plant to make fabric, sunscreen, insect repellent, ink... everything he needs!

A little unbelievably, his quiet nonconformist nature is finally accepted by his peers and they all join his society in the end, which is really what a lot of unpopular kids would like.
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LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
Beautiful story with wonderful pictures - a boy who sees nothing wrong with being different creates an entire world of difference in his back garden.
LibraryThing member rachel3212
A book about a boy who doesn't have many friends and is an outcast. He does a summer project and creates a new civilization.
LibraryThing member Nhritzuk
As I read this story, I couldn't help but think of all my students who would identify with Wesley. I LOVE that this book is a celebration of those who are "different", empowering children to think for themselves and to pursue their interests. Kevin Hawkes' illustrations allowed me to get into
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Wesley's head. This is a story I will be happy to read over and over again.
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LibraryThing member Jill.Barrington
A boy, named Wesley, does not really seem to belong in his conformist neighborhood. He decides to indulge in something that interests him: he begins growing a new plant that no one else has seen before. Wesley discovers various uses for the plant, and the plant grows to be quite large. Over time,
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the people begin to see Wesley and his plant in a new and accepting way.

The book would be very useful in discussing conformity, differences, individuality, and what makes people special.
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LibraryThing member cindasox
Great stimulus for creative writing. Beautifully illustrated. Strong and independent lead character. Wes does not choose to be one of the crowd, he chooses his own interests resisting conformity, but ends up being a leader and enabler.
LibraryThing member SIS_PYP_Libe
This wonderful story embodies all the qualities teachers hope to instill in their students. Wesley is curious, courageous, hard-working, enthusiastic. This is a wonderful read-aloud and would be a great accompaniment to a unit on ancient civilizations.
LibraryThing member haldemac
A fabulous book about a boy that creates his own world and the people around him that come to understand and appreciate him.
LibraryThing member jenvid
Wesley is different, and does not have many friends. As a summer project, he starts to grow a special plant, and develops many uses from the plant. The plant produces sunscreen, food, shelter, and ink. When he returns to school, he realizes he has many friends that try to follow his new lifestyle.
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I loved this book, and I enjoyed the positive message. Wesley had no friends, and he did not change. He continued being himself, and in the end, he became well known. This book teaches kids to be true to themselves. As a class assignment, I would combine this book with other gardening books. As a class, we would try to pick out a plant, and find the different uses of the plant.
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LibraryThing member Mluke04
Weslandia is an example of a fantasy because Wesley is able to found an entire civilization in one summer. The wind brings in the seeds of an amazing plant that give him the tools to found his own civilization in his backyard.
The illustrations in this picture book are amazing. They were created
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using acrylic paints. The colors are vibrant and very detailed. The illustrations add to the story and help the reader see what is happening.
Media: Acrylics
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LibraryThing member ravjohns
Excellent book with a lot of teaching potential. This little boy uses a simple plant and uses it to cultivate an entire way of living. It's so wonderful and really teaches kids that they can do whatever they want in life.
LibraryThing member hipsterkidd
I read this in my first lit block last semester and it was a huge hit. Its a great all around book for social studies and math. It focuses on civilization development so its really good for the explorer units in 5th grade. I used it for 4 of my lessons.
LibraryThing member dms02
Not sure where I heard about this book but I have to imagine maybe on one of the Waldorf mama blogs I read. This was a great read - pretty earthy. About Wesley's summer vacation. This kid loves learning and is not so popular. He decides to plant some seed and start a civilization. Fun way to relay
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what goes in to creating and defining a civilization (food, language, traditions, living etc.). Good read for those who like creating, gardening, an adventurous spirit, and an underdog to cheer for!
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LibraryThing member Kbernard
I really enjoyed this book. It's about a boy who seems to be lost in his own world, until unexpected former tormentors join him. The pictures are beautiful and so is the story. Will be adding this to my collection.
LibraryThing member Desirichter
I couldn't possibly love Wes more. More than just a story of one misfit's journey, Weslandia offers a commentary how knowledge is acquired. Wes decides to use what he knows. In a sense that knowledge "from the books" is also a seed. Then Wes takes real seeds, grows them and creatively engineers
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"tools" of civilization. I worship the genius of Fleischman who uses these tools to connect Wes to his tormentors.

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LibraryThing member lbblackwell
Wesley is an outcast in search of a summer project. After forming his own civilization, his former tormentors enter into his strange world and become his friends.

The illustrations capture the storyline perfectly with vibrant colors that leap off of the page. A great choice!
LibraryThing member jcarroll12
A strong role model character who stays true to himself. I love Wesley's brilliant individuality and ideas. I think this could be a great book to use in social studies courses such as World History, and I can't help but think of my students who aren't afraid to be themselves and start new trends!
LibraryThing member Braydon1010
Westlandia was about a boy who got bullied in school and didn't have any friends. He was reading one day and got an idea about making a garden. He grew a random plant and it turned out to be the best plant ever. He made everything you can think of out of the plant. All of the kids from
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school wanted to be his friends.

Personal reflection:
I have a garden I take care of in my back yard. I have never had two plants cross pollinate and make an extraordinary plant. I feel bad for the kids that get bullied during school, it lowers their self esteem.

Classroom extensions:
1. Bring Styrofoam cups and soil and have them plant seeds in them.
2. Show them a video about how to grow plants.
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LibraryThing member kitbraddick
Wes the main character creates his own alternate world to escape his reality. In a world of judgement and bullying, Wes manages to stay true to himself and his imagination to create a civilization known as "Weslandia". This book is perfect for any child, but especially those that might be suffering
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from self esteem issues, etc. It reveals that individuality has power, and boredom doesn't have to be an element of summer vacation.
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LibraryThing member memaldonado
Weslandia is a book about Wesly, a boy that does not have friends because he does not have the same interests as his classmates. Wesly is passionate about learning, and he learns in school that each civilization has its staple food crop. When summer begins Wesly decides to make his own food crop
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and his own civilization. This book could help students understand that being different is positive, and that it could lead to success. If I would read this book to students I would ask each student to imagine his or her land, and write on a piece of paper what the name would be, what symbols or colors their flag would have, and what would they do on their own land. The positive aspect of the book is that it encourages one to make one’s own civilization.
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LibraryThing member amartino1208
During summer vacation, a young boy named Wesley decides to create his own civilization right in his own backyard. He grows a garden that bears a strange fruit can can be used for just about anything his civilization might desire. This interesting book about adventure and life help to teach
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children to work for anything they want in life. If you work hard enough at something, you can achieve it.
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Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2001)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2002)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 2002)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Picture — 2001)




0763600067 / 9780763600068
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