Jenny's Reviews > Wayside School Is Falling Down

Wayside School Is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
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Sep 05, 11

bookshelves: character, language, elementary
Read on September 05, 2011, read count: 5+

In the next installment of the Wayside School stories, we are introduced to some new characters such as Mr. Kidswatter, the principal, and the new kid, Mark Miller, who’s too shy to tell everyone his name is actually Benjamin Nushmutt. The reading of it is made better by the illustrations of Joel Schick. The kids are really really cute. So cute that they could be mistaken for monkeys (see the illustration of Myron with the adorable black button eyes and bowtie). And I could almost taste those Tootsie Roll Pops. Orange was the worst, chocolate was the best.

The screwball storylines still exist such as Sharie bringing a hobo to school for show-and-tell, Paul’s pigtail fetish getting a little stronger, and a dead rat stopping the schmaltzy I love yous exchanged between Dameon and Mrs. Jewels. There are more “adult” themes like tattoos, kissing, and an existential crisis about freedom and imprisonment. And we finally learn what occurs on the 19th story since there are 3 stories about the 19th story.

Though not as enjoyable as the first book, Wayside School is Falling Down is still a clever book. There are a lot more jokes and references being carried throughout the book and Sachar plays a bit more with the grotesque such as more dead rats and throwing up prune juice. There are also good lessons about honesty, stealing, helping each other, friendship, being open-minded, and self-confidence. I learned “if you want to be great and important, you have to wear expensive underpants” (146). And if you don’t like this book, you can "drop dead, Ketchup Head”.
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