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The Vine

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The Vine: May 31, 2013

Submitted by on May 31, 2013 – 1:28 PM5 Comments


I've just remembered a book that I loved as a kid, and now I'm gripped by the urge to track it down — but I can't remember what it was called.  

It was set in New York and was about a group of kids who were reluctant readers. One day they find a thesaurus that has been accidentally put on the shelf of books that they're officially allowed to read. The teacher tries to take it off them, but they steal it and hide it. 

Throughout the rest of the book they take it in turns to use the thesaurus to change things about their lives; for example, one girl writes an impassioned plea for a puppy. 

I was a child of the 1980s, so I reckon that this was published in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Any help in tracking it down would be greatly appreciated! My Googling skills haven't found it for me so far…

Many thanks,
Not A Reluctant Reader

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  • March Madness says:

    I know this one! "A Word to the Wise" by Alison Cragin Herzig.

  • Katie says:

    A Word to the Wise by Alison Cragin Herzig

  • Jacq says:

    Letter writer here: yay! That's it! Thank you, March Madness and Katie!

  • Beth C. says:

    I read that book as a kid! I loved it.

  • Sandman says:

    I may have to read NARR's book now, if only to discover why the teacher would want to keep a thesaurus out of the hands of children. (Can't have kids going around, enriching their vocabularies all willy-nilly? I … henh?)

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