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The Runaway Schoolhouse

The Runaway Schoolhouse
Clearie, a one-hundred-year-old schoolhouse, is fed-up.

For so long, he has helped children get educated but been rewarded only by their complaints about how much they hate school.

He longs to get away.

His dream is to go to France, a country he has heard so much about in geography lessons over the years - but how could a schoolhouse possibly travel?

Eventually, he comes up with a plan and enlists the help of two students, the Buggy twins; but not everything works out as he had hoped.

With an attic full of crazy crabs, led by the fearless Lancelot, his journey is less than enjoyable and, in his absence, the school system falls apart.

Will Clearie's dreams come true and the children get their wish for school days to end forever? Or has everyone bitten off more than they can chew?

About the Author Maria Matthews lives near Ashbourne in County Meath, with her husband, one crazy collie and a lazy elkhound – all of whom help to feed her imagination.

Her two grown children return just often enough to check she hasn’t got stuck in a daydream.

Her passions include writing, her family and her work as a volunteer with the river rescue team, in her home county.

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Ribbon Reviews for this title:
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What a wonderful imagination Maria Matthews has. After being a decade in an Irish village, this small schoolhouse,  called Clearie, wants to travel to France. He start wandering with small steps to the beach. But for the content, you have to read it yourself.

The four storylines are so well worked out with humor. First of course we have the adventure of the main character Clearie, the schoolhouse. The main supporting role is for the twins John and  Sara, and their interaction with their teachers sometimes is hilarious. Together with the two other plot lines, Lancelot the crab and his family, and Aldo the Frenchman, the author creates a world we all know it is fantasy, but at the same time we believe everything did really happen as we see it going on before our eyes.

It is also amazing to see what live lessons are contained in this story. For instance: Often we thing grass is always greener at the other side of the hill, until you’ve been there. Or finding out that school also can be fun once you find out what you’re good in, like John found after writing his essay. A third one that catched me was that Clearie and Lancelot who don’t like each other, at the end, after traveling so long together and getting to know each other better, they maybe don’t become friends, but do care about each other.

A last thing I want to stress out is the Maria Mattews’s introduction and presenting herself attracted me so much that I could not wait to start reading this book. I really adore her fantasy and hope she will continue daydreaming forever.

I very much recommend to read it.

Submitted by Lieve Snellings


Clearie, a century old schoolhouse in Ireland has an itch to travel, and he does! I love author Maria Matthews’ ability to weave several story lines into a delightful tale. The crab family “infestation” and the character changes in the school teachers made me laugh. This will be a great addition to school and home libraries. Well done!

Submitted by Ellen Buikema

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