Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sideways Stories from Wayside School” as Want to Read:
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

(Wayside School #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  82,748 ratings  ·  2,190 reviews
The Wayside School was supposed to be one story high, with 30 classrooms side by side; instead, rooms were built atop each other - 30 stories tall. In 30 tales, meet meanest teacher Mrs Gorf, terrible Todd sent home early, John only reading upside down, Jason stuck to his seat by chewing gum. Some tales have a bit of a moral - Kathy assumes no one likes her.
Hardcover, 124 pages
Published 1998 by William Morrow Junior (first published 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sideways Stories from Wayside School, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Aftyn L I won't say my age, but when I was thirteen I still read it, and I was very amused by it. It only took me a day to finish it, but I think you'll like…moreI won't say my age, but when I was thirteen I still read it, and I was very amused by it. It only took me a day to finish it, but I think you'll like it. :)(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Rashwan
كتاب ساخر يحوي ثلاثين قصة تدور أحداثها حول الطلاب و المعلمين في مدرسة غريبة بنيت بطريقة خاطئة .. في البداية يقول الكاتب "أن المدرسة كان يفترض أن تبنى على طابق واحد يحوى ثلاثين فصلاً ممتدة على نسق واحد، بيد أن المدرسة بنيت بثلاثين طابقاً، في كل طابق فصل دراسي واحد،و قد أعتذر المهندس عن الخطأ الذي أرتكبه في بناء المدرسة"!
القصص بالطبع تحوى الكثير من الفانتازيا في أطار ساخر ، بعض القصص كانت جميلة و ذات مغزى و نجحت في رسم الأبتسامة، لكن معظم القصص كانت تبدو ساذجة إلى حد بعيد و خالية من أي مضمون أو فك
دعاء ممدوح
مجموعة من القصص الهزلية تدور حول طلاب أحد الفصول في مدرسة غريبة، يغلب على القصص الطابع الكوميدي الساخر و الفانتازيا الشديدة، أعجبتني بعض القصص لكن معظم القصص كانت بلا هدف واضح و لم أخرج منها بأي جديد
There is no 19th story.
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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…
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 7 & 10 year old daughters laughed heartily throughout much of this read, but I think I missed the window. The humor didn't quite make it to my thirtieth story.

No offense to Louis Sachar, but I just kept thinking. . . when is it going to turn into a Roald Dahl novel?

It never did.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, humor
These wacky absurd stories which may seem irreverent and sometimes mean-spirited to adults really seem to resonate with children. These stories were immediately attention grabbing for my kids and left them begging for more. The humor makes sense to the kids and they enjoyed the absolute absurdity and upside-down-ness of this school and it’s rules.

Wayside school was accidentally built 30 stories high and is leaning. Each chapter tells the reader about one student in the 30th story classroom. Thei
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.


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
George Jankovic
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a script for a play, not a book. It's a super cute fantasy story happening in a school where very strange things happen. For kids ages 8-11.

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
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it

This isn't a review of Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

What this is the mysterious set of events that surrounded a particular copy of this book that I found in a little neighbourhood library in Baltimore. Or rather, a particular copy of this book that found me.

It happened innocently enough. I was picking out books that other libraries in the system needed from my branch. A daily task. A mundane work day. I reached out to pick out Marley: Marley Learns a Lesson, when another b
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, classics
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
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jed L
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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.
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
Loved this as a kid! Passed it on to my sister and can't wait to pass it on to my children.
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger, school
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.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt Mazenauer
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that taught me that humor doesn't always have to follow the rules. The absurdism absolutely flavored all my daydreams from then on. All in all, it's actually a painfully short book and it's so weird that it makes one's brian stumble a bit at places. I guess that's what's great about it.
Wart Hill
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-readers, humor
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It's one of my favorites. It's absolutely hilarious. You totally have to read it.
Destinee Sutton
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Here's to another series I LOVED as a kid.

I checked the audiobook out of the library a couple of years ago for Eleanor, but she was NOT interested. A couple months ago, I tried again and she gave it a shot. She loved it.

Shortly after, I checked this out to read to all three girls. Man, I can't believe how good they still are. My goodreads shelf tells me that the last time I read this was back in 2005. I could read this one every year.

As I've mentioned before, these kid reviews seriously inflate
Sep 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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.

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 interesti
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
Recommended to Jason by: Lord only knows, that was ages ago
Shelves: child-lit, 2014, humor
The only thing I remembered about this book from the long, long ago when I read it was that I really liked it. I just bought it and the two sequels for my niece, and had to check it out again before passing it on to her. I'm glad I read it again as it gave me a nice jaunt down memory lane. I never read the sequels, and am not going to read them now due to having so much other stuff to read, but I'm sure she'll like them.

Right off the bat in chapter one we have an evil bitch of a teacher named Mr
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar 1 10 Jun 25, 2017 03:10PM  
  • Howliday Inn (Bunnicula, #2)
  • My Teacher Is an Alien (My Teacher Is an Alien, #1)
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, #3)
  • Ramona Forever (Ramona, #7)
  • Amelia's Notebook (Amelia's Notebooks, #1)
  • The Dollhouse Murders
  • How to Eat Fried Worms
  • The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks
  • The Fairy Rebel
  • The Castle in the Attic (The Castle in the Attic, #1)
  • Fudge-a-Mania (Fudge, #4)
  • Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #12)
  • Knights of the Kitchen Table (Time Warp Trio, #1)
Louis Sachar (pronounced Sacker), born March 20, 1954, is an American author of children's books.

Louis was born in East Meadow, New York, in 1954. When he was nine, he moved to Tustin, California. He went to college at the University of California at Berkeley and graduated in 1976, as an economics major. The next year, he wrote my first book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School .

He was working a

Other books in the series

Wayside School (5 books)
  • Wayside School Is Falling Down (Wayside School #2)
  • Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (Wayside School #2.5)
  • More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (Wayside School #2.6)
  • Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger (Wayside School, #3)
“You need a reason to be sad. You don't need a reason to be happy.” 305 likes
“It's funny how a person can be right all the time and still be wrong.” 15 likes
More quotes…