Read William S. and the Great Escape by Zilpha Keatley Snyder Online


William S. Baggett is a good kid trapped in a really awful family. William has his running-away money ready to go, he's just been waiting until he's older than twelve to leave. When his big brothers flush his sister's pet guinea pig down the toilet, she insists they leave now. And take the two littlest Baggetts with them. So they head out in the middle of the night, readWilliam S. Baggett is a good kid trapped in a really awful family. William has his running-away money ready to go, he's just been waiting until he's older than twelve to leave. When his big brothers flush his sister's pet guinea pig down the toilet, she insists they leave now. And take the two littlest Baggetts with them. So they head out in the middle of the night, ready to escape to their aunt Fiona's house. Unfortunately the trip doesn't go exactly as planned. It's not so easy traveling with two little kids, and some help from a lonely rich girl makes it even more complicated. Will they ever make it to Aunt Fiona's? And if they do, will she let them stay? This is the story of four children who learn that sometimes you have to run away before you can find your way home....

Title : William S. and the Great Escape
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416967637
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

William S. and the Great Escape Reviews

  • Colleen
    2019-04-24 21:18

    William S. Baggett has no choice but to plan his escape- he is too small, too nice, and too talented to survive in the Baggett household. That said, his escape plans are a distant dream, brought sharply into focus by his sister's determination to escape (with their younger siblings) from an increasingly abusive situation. The tale of the preparation and the escape make for a great adventure-read for children. This is a wonderful book with a great retro-feel; the Depression-era tale resonates with authenticity. The quirky storyline and interesting cast of characters kept this adult reader involved; I'm sure younger readers would be equally engrossed. On the other hand, there are darker themes that are touched on here so parents should be ready to discuss the issues of child abuse, welfare fraud, bullying and violence as they arise. All in all an excellent read!

  • miaaa
    2019-04-29 02:08

    If you have a very dysfunctional family, the only way to cope is either to build walls around you or simply to run away. As said by the author, sometimes you need to run away to find home.

  • Shar Patigas
    2019-04-23 18:13

    This is the first I’ve read this book and it almost replaced The Headless Cupid as my favorite Snyder book. I love the way the story was crafted. It’s like the perfect runaway story. It’s as good as Claudia and Jaime’s runaway adventure from the book From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but with more action and theatre.

  • Elisabeth Bridges
    2019-05-16 23:36

    Absolutely charming quick read. Maybe I'm biased (being a Bard nut myself), but I think William S. is one of the most beautiful characters ever created in juvenile fiction. His characterization felt so true and effortless, which I know isn't easy to pull off. So hat's off to Zylpha Keatley Snyder.

  • Victor Guerrero
    2019-05-09 01:25

    Have you ever tried to run away? Well Twelve-year-old William S. Baggett has. The genre of this book would be realistic fiction. It would be because this could have actually occurred. My overall opinion of this book would be it was so good also a great lesson for people To know about abusive families. This book setting would be northern California. The setting is important because thats where there Aunt Fiona lives. This book is about a 12 year old boy named William. He's been planning to escape his abusive family with his four younger siblings. His older brothers always taunt him and one day he flushes a pet guinea pig down the toilet. He fed up and does sneak out in the middle of the night with the kids to go to his Aunts house and plans to live there forever. William has been saving up money for the run away . They decide to head to Aunt Fiona house but the plan doesn't go how they wanted it to go. The characters are William , Jancy ,Aunt Fiona, and the two youngest siblings. The conflict would be Person vs person because William enemy is the awful family "Baggetts". The theme is teamwork Because the four siblings work together to escape.A major event that changed the character was when they flushed the pet down the toilet because he knew he had to get out of that house. The title relates to the book . It relates because its about how William tries to escape the bad family. The narrator is reliable because they statements she wrote were believable. The authors word choice were good/bad because she using some curse words like "hell" and that might offend someone. The theme can be seen when William saves money to help the four siblings.I was surprised when they make it to town, but the young Baggetts are offered shelter by Clarice a little girl whose dog discovers them walking down the street. I was angry when they flushed the pet down the toliet. My favorite part was when William performed Shakespeare’s The Tempest for the two young kids because they were bored at Clarice house. William S. and the great escape is a good title for the book because it shows what the books about and how the escape was fun. An interesting thing I learned was people are different and there are some parents that treat the kids with no respect that the kids just want to run away because they hate their families.I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars just because the book was so good and fun to read. I would recommend this book to people who like reading about peoples lives and there problems. Would you try to escape if your family was awful?

  • Emma
    2019-05-19 00:34

    William S. Baggett doesn't plan on being a Baggett for much longer. He's been scrimping and saving and soon he's going to run away.Turns out soon comes a lot faster than William expected. And with a lot more problems.Being a Baggett, especially a little Baggett, isn't easy at the best of times. But when Jancy's pet guinea pig is flushed down the toilet by two older Baggetts she knows it's time to leave. William knows too. Even if he would have liked more time to plan and save and, well, get older than twelve.All of a sudden William, Jancy and the two smallest Baggetts are making their escape to find their aunt Fiona's house and maybe someone who will actually care about them and welcome them. At least, they hope.But it turns out running away is harder than William thought, especially with two little kids in tow. Getting some help from a lonely rich girl might be a big help. Or it might spell disaster for all of their non-Baggett plans in William S. and the Great Escape (2009) by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.William S. and the Great Escape is an interesting combination of runaway story set in 1938 and excerpts from Shakespeare* (William is a big fan of . . . that other William) as William tries to entertain his younger siblings. Snyder is no stranger to building suspense. The story is fraught with tension as the youngest Baggetts (and the reader) wonder if they will make it to Aunt Fiona's and, more importantly, if she will let them stay.Are the Baggett's problems at home over the top? Is the plot improbable? Perhaps. But that's kind of the point. Snyder puts together a little bit of the historical, a little bit of the dramatic, and a lot of humor and charm in this book to create a story that is pure fun and pure escapism for any reader.*All of the quotes and Shakespeare related matters are set in an Old English style font so that they stand out. And may or may not be easier to skip if the reader is more interested in young William S. than in William Shakespeare.Possible Pairings: The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood, The Secret Garden by France Hodgson Burnett, You Don’t Know Me by David Klass, The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson, Holes by Louis Sachar, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, Heidi by Johanna Spyri

  • Sandra Stiles
    2019-05-23 02:22

    Abuse and neglect is a real fact seen every day. Often kids see no way out. This isn't the case for William Baggett. he had decided long ago he didn't want to live like the rest of the Baggetts. He worked odd jobs, saved his money and had a bag packed at all times for when the day was right. He was only twelve so he figured he had a couple of years before he would leave. Things changed the day the twins flushed Jancey's guinea pig Sweetie Pie down the toilet. Jancey had know William's secret for a long time but had said nothing. On this day she met him in their secret meeting place and made it clear that she thought "they" should run away as early as the next day. Not only that but they needed to take Buddy and Trixie, the youngest Baggetts with them. She decided they would run away to their Aunt Fiona's house. After all she had raised Buddy and Trixie for two years. She would still be raising them if their father had not remarried and taken them back so he could collect more welfare money. Along the way they find some unlikely help from someone who admired Williams Shakespearean acting ability. this was a fun read but also had a serious tone. I had to ask myself if I would have had the courage to do what these four children did? I at first wanted to say that this would never happen in real life. Then I realized several things. Children today do things that seem too adult for us all the time. The second thing I noticed was that this book was set during the depression times and children back then had to be more grown up than kids today. They usually had more responsibilities and therefore it is very plausible. Either way I think kids will be able to make a connection to this book and I will highly recommend it.

  • Cami
    2019-04-26 19:14

    My kids loved this book and it prompted some great discussions.The depression-era Baggett home is not a good place to grow up. William S. has an alcoholic, abusive father. His step-mother and six half-siblings are mean, often cruel and think he and his three younger full siblings are there to either torture or completely neglect.William has plans, though. He's going to escape and be a Baggett no more. He may even be a famous actor one day. He's been saving every penny, earning money in anyway he can to build up his escape fund.One day, the guinea pig of little sister Jancey is flushed down the toilet by the bullying older siblingsand suddenly, the plan of escape is no longer William's alone. Oh, one more thing...Jancey insists on bringing six-year old Trixie and four-year-old Buddy with them as well.The plan to get to their mother's sister's home is simple enough, but avoiding all those big Baggetts is another matter entirely.--There are a lot of my kids' audio books to which I don't pay attention, but this one really held my interest. I loved how the siblings worked together to make the great escape work. I loved how it showed that losing your cool was a decidedly Baggett trait and not one to emulate. The audio book said it was recommended for ages 5 to 12, but I would bump that up to 6 to 12. There is swearing twice and I was surprised by the use of the word 'sexy' in a children's chapter book. I feel like this book has good values and doesn't graphically discuss the kids abuses (which is good for sensitive children and their sensitive parents).

  • J.S.
    2019-05-23 23:11

    "Sometimes you have to run away before you can find your way home." And William S. has plenty of reasons to run away: a drunk and abusive father and older brothers, a neglectful stepmother, and the fact that he just doesn't fit in with the Baggetts. But when his sister's pet guinea pig is flushed down the toilet (by the older brothers) running away becomes a priority. But his sister insists on coming along, and that they take the two youngest children. But will Aunt Fiona take them in when they get there? ...*IF* they can get there! This is a cute story in spite of the abuse and neglect, which is seldom described in graphic terms. It takes place during the Depression, but other than a few references to FDR's New Deal program and Shirley Temple, it's not what you'd call a historical or period novel. Overall, the book has a somewhat old-fashioned feel to it and I enjoyed reading it. It's aimed at 9 to 12 year olds, and the writing seems geared more toward the younger part of that range (except for a few profanities) but the underlying theme of abuse might be more appropriate to the older ones. The tie-in with The Tempest was a nice introduction to Shakespeare, although I thought The Wednesday Wars did that much more artfully. Still, a nice book that I think lots of kids will enjoy.

  • Samantha Hayashi
    2019-05-16 19:19

    William S. and the Great Escape is a great book. It is mysterious and has excitement in it. The book is about four siblings who want to leave their house and move into their aunt's house. The book is based on a twelve-year old boy named William and how his life is in a house full of Baggets (his last name). He had everything planned out on how he was going to leave his house since he was a little boy. Ever since his mother died, life had changed in the house. There is an abusive father, mean step-mother, and horrible older brothers. Once his sister Jancy's guinea pig gets flushed down the toilet, William, Jancy, and their two younger siblings leave the house because they don't want to see what is going to happen next. They leave for their aunt's house and make it. Their aunt takes them in and is very happy to see them, but once they settle in, trouble is coming their way!The book is really good, but I wish it were a little bit longer. The climax was very good and the description is very clear. You can picture the events and characters in your mind while reading this book. Shakespeare is also mentioned in this book since William was an actor in the school play for the Tempest. When I got to the climax, I couldn't put it down. I kept on reading the book until I got to the end of it.

  • Lily.
    2019-04-27 19:25

    William 12 year old hero, plans to use his money he saved up all his life to escape, someday, from his horrible and vicious father and older siblings. Meanwhile, William hides from the household of their farmhouse, reading Shakespeare and dreaming of the stage . Escape becomes urgent after his bullying half brothers flushed his sister Jancys guinea pig down the toilet. William, Jancy and their younger bothers and sisters Trixie and Buddy, leave and thought that there Aunt Fiona’s would taken them in home several towns away. Throughout the journey, William relies on the Bard to calm and entertain the younger siblings acting out scenes and reciting lines from The Tempest . The children’s happy reunion with their aunt proves short lived when their father appears to claim them, though things eventually work out for the beleaguered children. Wit and pluck are rewarded in this quick-paced, high drama adventure, which may also whet young appetites for Shakespeare.

  • Libby Ames
    2019-04-26 19:34

    Zilpha Keatley Snyder writes great stories for readers between 8 and tween. Her stories feature strong, child heroes having fast-paced and intriguing adventures. However, she keeps the stories appropriate for young audiences in subject and content. Another great thing about Snyder is the number of books she has written. If you enjoy one, there are many more to choose.In William S. and the Great Escape, William Baggett is a precocious and creative kid trapped in rotten family. With an angry and lazy father, mean stepmother, and a seemingly innumerable group of bullying older siblings, William longs for escape. His plans are altered when some of the older kids flush his younger sister Jancy’s pet guinea pig down the toilet. At that point, she insists that they and the two youngest Baggetts hit the road. Their escape is filled with adventures and close calls as four neglected kids try to find a better home.

  • Christopher
    2019-05-02 00:29

    I found lots of problems with this book that reminded me of The Boxcar Children. For one, the time (1938) does not feel right due partially to the use of words such as supersmart, supersecret, gone missing, junior college, community service, etc. Also there is the use of the word hell as a cuss word (p. 36) as well as the g.d. word (p. 192). The name of the protagonist's sister, Jancy, did not feel right for a girl from 1938. Also, the poor Baggett clan had a working bathroom in the house, something that was virtually unheard of in rural America at that time. The characters lacked depth and feeling, the theme of abuse was not developed enough, and the childish utterings of the 4-year-old brother were irritating. However, I did like the idea of William being a Shakespeare fan and how the author worked some of the bard's lines into her book.

  • carissa
    2019-04-24 18:17

    Recommended Ages: grades 4-7William S. Baggett is a good kid trapped in a really awful family. William has his running-away money ready to go, he's just been waiting until he's older than twelve to leave. When his big brothers flush his sister's pet guinea pig down the toilet, she insists they leave now. And take the two littlest Baggetts with them. So they head out in the middle of the night, ready to escape to their aunt Fiona's house.Unfortunately the trip doesn't go exactly as planned. It's not so easy traveling with two little kids, and some help from a lonely rich girl makes it even more complicated. Will they ever make it to Aunt Fiona's? And if they do, will she let them stay?This is the story of four children who learn that sometimes you have to run away before you can find your way home.

  • Linnea Hendrickson
    2019-05-10 02:18

    I was disappointed. The story started out well with a Lemony-Snicket-like darkness, and then, as one reviewer pointed out, it came to a halt just as it got going, when the runaway children are taken in by a young girl named Clarice, where they stay for 2-3 days. The Shakespeare element felt contrived, and went on too long. The black lettering for the Shakespeare quotes began to annoy me. When the children got on the move again, their journey gained in tension, but felt unreal, as did their warm welcome by Aunt Fiona. This woman was a teacher. Surely she would have known to contact the authorities and raise the question of child abuse. I loved the cover, which, along with the author's reputation, attracted me to the book.

  • Ellisa Barr
    2019-04-27 18:11

    This children's book was a very quick read about 4 children in a broken family who decide to run away. It was okay, but I had some problems with how the book didn't seem to take the home life situation very seriously. It wasn't told as lightly as, for example, Harry Potter's life with his aunt and uncle, but it lacked a certain depth.This would be a good book for younger children, especially if you used it to lead into some conversations with them about abusive or neglected families.A book that I highly recommend if you want to read much more eloquently told "runaway" children's survival story is Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt.

  • Karla
    2019-05-08 23:10

    William is tired of being a Baggett, being picked on by his troublemaking older brothers and his abusive father and stepmother. He has his running away money all ready to go, but he is waiting for the right moment. But when his brothers flush his little sister's guinea pig down the toilet, she insists he help her the the two littlest ones run away NOW. So the four go on the run to their Aunt Fiona's house. Things don't go exactly as planned, however, and the four have to overcome many obstacles before finding a safe home. A nice read for Boxcar Children fans looking for something a little different.

  • Tricia
    2019-05-17 22:18

    While this story is a bit complicated (4 children with same mother-now deceased living with horrible father who has a mass of mean children from his first wife...aunt who raised them until they were stolen by the father for government funding, etc.), the adventure aspect may appeal to some children. William is plotting his escape from "the Baggetts" as he calls the family. Their escape is expedited and in their rush, they are caught offguard by another child in their town who takes them in. The use of Shakespeare did get a bit tedious at times but overall, this book (and the characters within) was enjoyable.

  • Melissa McAlvey
    2019-05-08 19:17

    Set during the depression, this book is about William, his two younger sisters and one younger brother and their escape from their nasty family of Baggetts. William also happens to love Shakespeare and is constantly quoting the Bard, especially from The Tempest (because he recently played the part of Ariel in his school's production. The different ages of the four kids in this book add variety and humor as they sneak away to freedom from their tormentors.

  • Kristin
    2019-05-04 22:24

    I listened to this book after reading William's Midsummer Dreams, and am glad I did. At first I thought I didn't need to nor did I want to, but I actually really liked the author's writing and the characters when I wasn't distracted by all of the changing fonts! The reader on this audiobook is really good as well.

  • Yapha
    2019-05-12 01:25

    This book was not what I expected it to be. I thought there would be more Shakespeare in it. I did enjoy the story, but I felt everything was wrapped up a bit too quickly and neatly at the end. There are interesting themes about bullying in here, not only the Baggart parents and brothers, but possibly Clarice as well.

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2019-05-08 18:33

    A sweet story about a young man taking his three young siblings and getting away from an abusive household in the depths of the Depression. The young man has, through a wonderful junior high teacher, found a love for Shakespeare that carries him through all of the difficulties and allows him to entertain and teach his younger siblings as well.

  • Dana
    2019-05-05 18:23

    This story was so heartbreaking and sad at times, but hopeful overall. It appealed to the part of me that loves Sharon Creech, Polly Horvath, and other sad but wonderful stories of that nature. The whole book you are rooting for the youngest 4 children in the Baggett family to escape the abuse and neglect of their large and crazy family and thus it is a very compelling read.

  • Angela
    2019-05-14 01:12

    Had a very old-fashioned feel. The story itself is set in 1930's and makes a good tame adventure. The narrator was good and well-suited to the part. The story was a little predictable and tame so I think a younger audience would enjoy it best (upper elementary rather than middle-school).

  • Emilyann
    2019-05-13 21:29

    I've loved Zilpha Keatley Snyder's books since I was a kid. Addresses issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, but ultimately a hopeful story of determined siblings who love and watch out for each other.

  • Lia Marcoux
    2019-05-22 00:27

    This story was fine (shades of the Stanleys, who I prefer) but this edition put any and all Shakespeare quotes and titles, his name, and even the initial "S." in a mock-old-English font that made me want to tear my hair out!!!

  • Maggie V
    2019-05-07 21:11

    An action filled story about William, Jancy, Trixie and Buddy who don't fit in with their family (who does abuse them) and decide to run away. Good obstacles to overcome, humorous parts, and even some Shakespeare. A fun historical adventure for tweens.

  • Sue Jackson
    2019-05-02 22:10

    Enjoyed this sweet story of four siblings who run away from an abusive family, written by an award-winning author. Read my full review at:

  • Jeremy
    2019-04-27 20:11

    Listened to this with the family on the way home from BC. We all greatly enjoyed it. It introduces some tough themes with regard to child negligence, broken families, etc. but does so in a sensitive way. The Shakespeare storyline was well done. A few mild profanities that could have been avoided...

  • Deana Starnes
    2019-05-06 23:16

    Enjoyed, read in 2 days...curiousity will keep you reading this book. When things seem to be at their worst, help arrives and all is well....