Sideways Stories From Wayside School (Wayside School #1)
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Sideways Stories From Wayside School (Wayside School #1)

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  48,574 ratings  ·  1,338 reviews

There was a terrible mistake - Wayside School was built with one classroom on top of another, thirty stories high (The builder said he was sorry.) Maybe that's why all kinds of funny things happened at Wayside-especially on the thirteenth floor.

Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 19th 2004 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

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Chris
Jan 06, 2008 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: the young at heart
If you want to see exactly what rests at the center of someone’s soul, don’t bother reading a 200-page biography on them; ask them what was the first book ever to make an impression on them that lasted into their adulthood. For some it might be some garbage about a brat named Ramona and her ginger-kid friends, and these people embrace a passion for whimsy and camaraderie. Others have a deep-rooted sense of ‘self’ from cherishing the trails and tribulations of some chick named Margaret menstruati...more
Sarah
This is the only chapter book I've read to my class this year that has caused them to demand more chapters, beg for a quick chapter here and there throughout the day and I've even had to re-read several chapters to them. There is just something about absurdity mixed with keen observations of school days reality that gets kids every time.





Sarah Montambo Powell
Catie
Dec 30, 2012 Catie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Flannery
We pulled this unassuming little book out of my husband’s childhood bookshelf over Thanksgiving break (my in-laws seriously never get rid of anything) and we had absolutely no idea what kind of wonderful craziness lay waiting for us inside. We had been reading The Phantom Tollbooth…but I kind of sort of accidentally/on purpose left it at home.

Listen, I’m not saying The Phantom Tollbooth isn’t a brilliant book…with the wit and the puns and the wit and the plays on perspective and the…wit…and the…...more
Prashant
This was my reaction when I realized that I have not forgotten to pack this book for my Mumbai trip.



And this was my expression throughout the period when I was reading the book.

description

I had so many expectations from it and maybe that led to the epic fall. I so wanted to like it. I wanted another Wimpy Kid in my kitty on which I can fall back on whenever I need.

But this is no Wimpy Kid, oh hell, it sucks as intensely as the Fudge kid in Fudge-a-mania.

Here are some drudgery tales served on a please-lik...more
Jenny
Oh Louis Sachar you are such a gifted children’s writer. I’ve loved all of your books (from the social injustice of Holes to the touching There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom). But the Wayside School books will always have a special place in my heart as the funniest and goofiest. Sachar uses a lot of puns, wordplay, and zany situations and that’s probably why as an adult my most favorite type of humor is irony with a little bit of absurdity. Here is a taste:

“Dana had four beautiful eyes. She wor...more
Elizabeth
I remember loving this book at some point during my childhood. Re-reading it as an adult confirms that I was a very strange child. What an awesomely weird book! Teachers turning into apples and being eaten by recess monitors! Dead rats in raincoats passing as ornery new students!

One particularly bizarre, hilarious passage:

"In Mrs. Jewls' class there were three children named Eric: Eric Fry, Eric Bacon, and Eric Ovens. They were known throughout the school for being fat. Eric Fry sat at this end...more
Blanca
Louis Sachar was unwittingly my primer for my love of absurdist and magical realism literature. In my 5th grade English class, we read this book and I remember there was nothing we were more collectively excited about except maybe that mock presidential campaign where Michael Dukakis won by a landslide in the halls of George Washington Carver- Anson Jones Elementary, if nowhere else in the country. Our enthusiasm for the wacky capers of the students and the yard teacher inspired a class project...more
Patti
Upon the recommendation of an enthusiastic 3rd grader in my grandson’s class, I checked out his most favorite book from this year – “Sideways Stories From Wayside School”. Two other kids concurred so that was enough for me to finally read what was also a favorite of several students I had as an elementary librarian. So away I went with a copy from their library.

Surprisingly, I have mixed feelings for this book that the kids find so hilarious. It’s a different kind of humor that is just wacky, ir...more
Madeleine
My fourth-grade homeroom teacher read this to our class, only she substituted names of the students and teachers in the book with the names of the students in our class (I was Leslie -- how I remember that, I have no idea) and the other teachers in our grade. Hilarity ensued, I assure you.

A lot of my elementary school teachers liked reading to their homeroom classes during downtime, and I always loved it. This book stands out as one of my all-time favourite read-to-me-books, probably because of...more
Colleen Venable
This is absolutely the most perfect book I have ever read for this age group. Brilliant, hysterical, and seemingly simplistic, the book is anything but. I was shocked re-reading it as an adult how stunningly original all the small stories that make up this book are. If you haven't read it since you were young, I INSIST you pick it up again. The best in the bunch: icecream flavored like kids and the invisible note for the invisible teacher on the invisible floor.
Pink
January 20, Chapter 1

I think Mrs.Gorf is a really mean teacher, because she turned her students into an apple, when they did nothing wrong.

January 27 , Chapter 2

Mrs. Jewls is a kind teacher, she thinks that her students are terribly cute. And she plans to give them a banana, because she thought that they look like a monkey.

February 3, Chapter 3

Joe is a boy who can't count properly.I think it's funny when he can only count backwards, but will still get the correct answer when Mr's Jewls ask him q...more
Emily
I was only half-way interested in reading this book out loud to my son, who received it as an end of year gift from his second grade teacher. I expected it to be kind of dumb because I knew it was meant to be "funny", and my idea of funny doesn't always overlap with a seven-year-old's. But we tried it for lack of other reading material at hand, and it turned out I was captivated by the oddness of it. The stories, 30 of them, to match the 30 stories of Wayside School (which was accidentally built...more
aisha
HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK IS SO GREAT.

unbelievably great. it cracks me up regulary ("take a train, peanut brain!" being one of my favorite lines). children's books are fantastic bedtime readings - they are usually short, relatively simple, and - in the case of the whole wayside collection - ridiculously entertaining and clever. i fear the day this becomes a film (unless my college roommate writes and directs it) because all of the kids are such unique and well developed characters, it has to be incred...more
Destinee Sutton
I'm rereading this for the first time since elementary school, and I gotta say, I'm really blown away by the sheer absurdity of it. It reminds me of James Marshall's George and Martha stories: absurd, but lovely in that they never apologize for being absurd or wink at you from beneath the absurdity. It's just absurd all the way down, sincerely and deeply absurd. I imagine after you graduate from George and Martha, you move on to Wayside, and from there you're ready for Beckett and Camus.
Travis Bughi
At some point in my elementary schooling, my mom got me a private tutor for a couple months. I'm not entirely sure why, because I don't remember ever struggling in school, but all I remember is that her name was the month I was born in (April) and she had me read this book with her.

I found it clever, the many interesting twists and play on words, especially the one where the kid kept getting his math questions right despite doing the method wrong.

All in all, though, I did not find it for me, for...more
Christal
Loved this as a kid! Passed it on to my sister and can't wait to pass it on to my children.
Tessie
I love this book. It's one of my favorites. It's absolutely hilarious. You totally have to read it.
Jed L
I picked up this book again because I was reminded of it while reading Catch-22. Sideways stories was one of my favorite books growing up as a kid and I think it set me up to enjoy Catch-22 as well. Sideways Stories is eccentrically funny, but also surprisingly deep in symbolism and metaphor. The premise of the book is a school built sideways--that is 30 stories high instead of 30 classrooms longs. There are 30 chapters and each chapter is about a certain character. Some of these chapters are ju...more
Chris
My kids and I just finished reading this book aloud one story a night. The humorous stories and ridiculous situations entertained all three kids (aged 4 through 8) and I found myself laughing aloud with them ad the adventures of the kids on the 30th story.

Characters
Each story focuses primarily on a different character so trying to lump all of the characters together into a single review category is difficult. The two character persistent throughout the book, Mrs. Jewls and Louis, are interestin...more
Miriam
Sachar captures how arbitrary and pointless and incomprehensible school can be. But somehow, he makes it funny and touching instead of confusing and frustrating and awful like it is in real life.
Montserrat
From the author of Holes, this is another book in the popular Wayside School series for children. At Wayside School, nothing is quite right - the 30 rooms are built on top of each other, the teachers are strange and the students are even stranger. A brilliant exercise in absurdist literature, the book is filled with many wacky and wonderful goings-on among Beebee Gunn, DeeDee, Rondi and others. The long-suffering teacher Mrs Jewls tries and fails to keep order amongst the chaos.

Sachar's gift for...more
Maeve Harrison
This book is very strange and humorous with stories that don't really make any sense. It tell the tales of wayside school and the children who go there. The school is a strange building thirty stories high with each classroom on top of the other, the children who go there are rather strange and the teacher are even more strange. The stories are very bizzare from dead rats dressed up in layers of coats and going to school, to children coming to school on a Saturday, to teachers not liking anyone,...more
Dolly
Feb 06, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
I started reading this book with our girls this summer, but we never really got into it and it got set aside for months. We started again in earnest and read a few stories each night.

I'm not really sure what to say about this book. It's entertaining, but very bizarre. There were so many places in this book that I just had to shake my head or shrug and say "hmmm..." to our girls. The format is novel and the characters are interesting, but very one-dimensional. We had a few chuckles reading this...more
Emily
This remains one of the whackiest, most bizarre books I've ever read. It's about a school that has one classroom per floor (except there's no 13th floor), and each chapter is about a kid at the school. My favorite chapter was Damian, about a new kid who shows up, kind of smelly and wearing a yellow raincoat. The teacher demands he remove the raincoat, and he takes it off, only to reveal another one. He unpeels raincoat after raincoat, getting smellier the whole time, the teacher getting angrier...more
mstan
This is the most amazingly surreal children's books I have ever read. Check out the following lines:

On teaching

Joe counted the potatoes. "Seven, five, three, one, two, four, six, eight. There are eight potatoes, Mrs Jewls."

"No, there are eight," said Mrs Jewls.

"But that's what I said," said Joe. "May I go to recess now?"

"No, you got the right answer, but you counted the wrong way again."


On responsibility

"What am I (as the class president) supposed to do?"

"It's a difficult job," said Mrs Jewls. "
...more
Jude F.
I have a lot to say about this book, but this review is on the theme. This book is a weird, but enjoyable book, quite amazing how someone could think so creatively. With all the certainly sideways stories, there are obviously many themes. I think the theme is creativity, it may not be inferred,but I was thinking about what the author was thinking while he was writing the book. He was thinking how no other would think. Most books have morals, this book really doesn't. it is more of a fun book tha...more
Kirei
Mrs. Gorf is such an apple.

Why isn't this book more famous? It is hilarious and clever--both my son and I loved it. I don't think it gets "pushed" by booksellers that much. Even though it was published in 1978, I had never even heard of it. My son asked me if there was a second book and I said, "Yes," and he asked if there was a third and luckily I could say, "Yes."

It kind of reminds me the "My Weird School" series (totally clueless teacher) but I liked this better. I think it must be harder th...more
Liz Dean
This book is FANTASTIC. It is made up of 30 chapters, each about a teacher or kid in the classroom on the 30th floor of Wayside School, a school that was built, by accident, on its side (thirty classrooms, straight up). The chapter on Joe, the kid who cannot count but who somehow always gets the right answer is alone worth the read. The classroom is filled with dead rats who show up in kids' clothing, evil teachers who turn kids into apples, kids who trade names and kids who want to sell their t...more
Kevin
Highly entertaining. The humor reminds me of "The Phantom Tollbooth", but it's not quite as relentless as that book. I like Tollbooth better now, but as a kid I would have liked this book better, a lot of the jokes and puns in Tollbooth would have been over my head. This book also reminds me of "Le Petit Nicholas" because of it's school-centric humor and episodic structure. I actually listened to this, Louis Sachar reads it himself with a slight lisp, which I assume is his normal voice. He does...more
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Louis Sachar (pronounced Sacker), born March 20, 1954, is an American author of children's books.

More about Louis Sachar...
Holes (Holes, #1) Wayside School Is Falling Down (Wayside School #2) Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger (Wayside School #3) There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom Small Steps (Holes, #2)

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“You need a reason to be sad. You don't need a reason to be happy.” 235 likes
“Dana had four beautiful eyes. She wore glasses. But her eyes were so beautiful that the glasses only made her prettier. With two eyes she was pretty. With four eyes she was beautiful. With six eyes she would have been even more beautiful. And if she had a hundred eyes, all over her face and her arms and her feet, why, she would have been the most beautiful creature in the world.” 3 likes
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