Any Which Wall

By: Laurel Snyder

Illustrator: LeUyen Pham

"Everyone agreed: the wall was 'wow.' It looked like something from another place and time, ancient and mysterious, leaning over them. They just stood. Gaping. Up." A boring, hot day in Quiet Falls, Iowa, has suddenly become interesting for siblings Henry and Emma and their neighbors Susan and Roy. Though they're not yet sure they believe in magic, the four instinctively know that this structure, standing free in the middle of a cornfield, is begging to be claimed. Its purpose, hinted at by a keyhole with no door, is ripe for discovery. Black-and-white line illustrations.

ISBN: 9780375955600

JLG Release: Sep 2009


Sensitive Areas: Cruelty to animals,
Topics: Magic , Summer vacation , Riding bicycles , Babysitters , Strange occurrences , Claiming a discovery , Sacrifices , Keys , Wishes , Secrets , Isolating variables , Sneaking out of the house , Castles , Literary devices , Merlin , Communication , Visions of the future , Being captured , Queen Guinevere , Dungeons , Rescues , Pirates , Blackbeard , Choices , Banks , Stealing , Desert islands , Pioneer times , Clothing , Outlaws , Cruelty , Standing up to bullies , Dogs , Cleaning a wound , Librarians , Being different , Taking in stray animals , Parents , Friends , New York City , Subways , Coney Island , Apologies , Growing up , Staying true to yourself , Problem solving , The importance of having fun , Animal shelters , Unicorns , Wrapping up loose ends

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Book List, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

Horn Book

Four children stumble upon a magical wish-granting wall. After some trial and error, they figure out the wall's magic and begin their explorations. Throughout, an omniscient narrator instructs readers, reflecting this contemporary-set story's old-fashioned sensibility, also seen in Pham's black-and-white line art. Snyder acknowledges her debt to Ed Four children stumble upon a magical wish-granting wall. After some trial and error, they figure out the wall's magic and begin their explorations. Throughout, an omniscient narrator instructs readers, reflecting this contemporary-set story's old-fashioned sensibility, also seen in Pham's black-and-white line art. Snyder acknowledges her debt to Edward Eager; fans of Jeanne Birdsall's Penderwicks books will also be pleased.

Junior Library Guild

“These days . . . people are just too busy for magic—watching TV and checking their email—so it stands to reason that when something unusual happens, folks are often looking the other way.” According to the chatty narrator of Any Which Wall, all kinds of magic just wait to be stumbled upon, the least difficult being “Common Magic. “These days . . . people are just too busy for magic—watching TV and checking their email—so it stands to reason that when something unusual happens, folks are often looking the other way.” According to the chatty narrator of Any Which Wall, all kinds of magic just wait to be stumbled upon, the least difficult being “Common Magic.” The wall is an example of Common Magic because its existence is easily disregarded by those who lack a certain amount of curiosity. However, for four friends open to adventure, it becomes a means of transportation to interesting places and times.

Any Which Wall is engaging, as much for its likable characters as for its fast-paced story. The heroes, ranging in age from six to twelve years old, are modern and realistic. They bring to mind siblings from classic fantasies, such as the Narnia series. Each of the children possesses a strength valuable to the group. Susan is responsible and level-headed, Henry is imaginative and action-oriented, Roy is logical and open-minded, and Emma is intuitive and big-hearted. Their first trip is unintentional. By playing on the wall, they just happen to perform the steps needed to make it work. However, they quickly realize the source of their journey and set about figuring out the wall’s secrets. Readers will eagerly predict and draw conclusions along with the children as they experiment with the wall’s powers and struggle to understand the sense and messages in its seemingly haphazard magic.

Book Details

ISBN

9780375955600

First Release

September 2009

Genre

Fantasy.

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

256

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.1; Points: 7;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.3; Points: 11;

Lexile

Level 810L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Random House

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Cruelty to animals,

Topics

Magic, Summer vacation, Riding bicycles, Babysitters, Strange occurrences, Claiming a discovery, Sacrifices, Keys, Wishes, Secrets, Isolating variables, Sneaking out of the house, Castles, Literary devices, Merlin, Communication, Visions of the future, Being captured, Queen Guinevere, Dungeons, Rescues, Pirates, Blackbeard, Choices, Banks, Stealing, Desert islands, Pioneer times, Clothing, Outlaws, Cruelty, Standing up to bullies, Dogs, Cleaning a wound, Librarians, Being different, Taking in stray animals, Parents, Friends, New York City, Subways, Coney Island, Apologies, Growing up, Staying true to yourself, Problem solving, The importance of having fun, Animal shelters, Unicorns, Wrapping up loose ends,

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Cover Art

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