Publication Date: June 2, 1999
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WESLANDIA honors the misfits—and the creators—among us.
School is over and Wesley needs a summer project. Having learned that every civilization has a staple food crop, he decides to plant a garden and start his own—civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth in his yard, and plants begin to grow. Soon they tower above him and bear a curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he discovers that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn't long before neighbors and classmates have developed more than an idle curiostiry about Wesley and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation. Enter the witty, intriguing world of WESLANDIA.
Paul Fleischman, like Wesley, constructed his own alternate world during his school years. "My friends and I invented our own sports, ran an underground newsppaer, and created our own school culture," he says.
Kevin Hawkes says that Wesley's world reminded him of ROBINSON CRUSOE, one of his favorite books as a child. "Wesley lives in this place where everything is the same," he explains, "yet he has created something unique and is living self-sufficiently, on his own island, in a way."