Cover image for Prairie school : story
Prairie school : story
Avi, 1937-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2001]

Physical Description:
47 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
In 1880, Noah's aunt teaches the reluctant nine-year-old how to read as they explore the Colorado prairie together, Noah pushing Aunt Dora in her wheelchair.
General Note:
"An I can read chapter book."
Reading Level:
410 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 46472.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 3 Quiz: 24923 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Angola Public Library X Juvenile Fiction Readers
Clearfield Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Eggertsville-Snyder Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Juvenile Fiction Easy Fiction
Kenmore Library X Juvenile Fiction Easy Fiction
Lancaster Library X Juvenile Fiction Easy Fiction
Orchard Park Library X Juvenile Fiction Readers
Audubon Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



It is the 1880s. Noah Bidson works hard on the family farm on the Colorado prairie. One day his mother tells him that his aunt Dora is coming to give him some schooling. Noah is angry. What use is reading on the prairie?

Aunt Dora arrives, and all the Bidsons are surprised to find that she is confined to a wheelchair. But Aunt Dora doesn't let it stop her. When Noah refuses to learn inside the sod farmhouse, Aunt Dora finds a unique way to show him that there's a whole new world waiting for him.

Avi's compelling story is brought to life by Bill Farnsworth's luminous paintings.

Author Notes

Avi was born in 1937, in the city of New York and raised in Brooklyn. He began his writing career as a playwright, and didn't start writing childrens books until he had kids of his own.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. This I Can Read Chapter Book is a good introduction to historical fiction. Noah loves the freedom of the prairie when his family moves to Colorado in the 1880s. Why does he need to read? His parents are barely literate and they do all right. But they want him to learn, and when his aunt arrives to visit, she sets up school for him in the sod house. At first he's resistant and he excuses himself to do lengthy chores. Eventually, his aunt, who is confined to a wheelchair, gets Noah to wheel her outside, where they share the joy of the prairie and she shows him that reading can help him know more. Avi's clear, simple language never sounds condescending, and the pictures show the tough kid's bond with those who love him. The adults are a bit too nice and understanding, but new readers will enjoy both Noah's rebellion and his awakening to the astonishing facts, stories, and poetry he can find in books. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Nine-year-old Noah loves living on the Colorado prairie in the 1880s where he helps his parents with all of the work. When Aunt Dora comes from the East to teach him how to read, he sees no need to do so and refuses to cooperate with her. However, his aunt refuses to give up. She asks Noah to show her the land even though he warns her that her wheelchair may make it difficult to get around. As he wheels her along, she consults the book in her lap and begins to tell him about the natural things around them. Impressed by her knowledge, the child decides to learn to read and write, and realizes that his aunt has opened a world beyond the prairies to him. Warm, soft-edged illustrations capture the intimacy of the loving family relationships and the vastness of the landscape on dark, starlit nights and glorious, sky-blue days. A combination of double-page spreads, full-page, and half-page illustrations appealingly reinforce the mood and action of the text. This gentle story with a great message that is nicely woven into the daily events would make a pleasant read-aloud as well as a good addition to easy chapter-book collections.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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