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Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (Wayside School #2.5)
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Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (Wayside School #2.5)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,838 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Why does elf + elf = fool? How many meals will Miss Mush, the lunch teacher, have to cook for the food to taste as bad as it smells? This book is packed full of brain teasers and maths puzzles and all the wacky pupils from Wayside School to help you find the logical solutions to all the problems.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books (first published 1989)
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Mar 15, 2009 rated it liked it
What? I had no idea that this book had actual PUZZLES in it! As a kid I thought it was some sort of dada-ist experiment with absurdity and language. I wasn't that amused either. But, as a superfan of the Wayside School series, I still gave it three stars.
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Want to help a young kid get on the right track with higher-level math? After they've fallen for the original Sideways Stories from Wayside School, they should give this book a shot. In short, the "reader" finds himself in Wayside School's bizarre math class, where equations all go like this:

+ elf

Words + words = words... the thing is, your job is to figure out what the numbers are. For starters, the "f" in the answer has to equal 1, because two single-digit numbers can't add up to more
Jenny D
Jun 23, 2011 added it
Shelves: ece-6391-6392
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School goes with Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School, using a similar story type and the same characters. This book can be used as an upward extension for students who have a good understanding of algebra. The later chapters are more appropriate for middle school math, but students in grades 4-5 can try to solve the arithmetic in the early chapters. Because the arithmetic uses “sideways” logic, students who rely on the algorithms to solve math wil ...more
Dec 31, 2013 added it
Shelves: books-i-own

Why does elf + elf = fool?How many meals will Miss Mush, the lunch teacher, have to cook for the food to taste as bad as it smells?These Sideways Arithmetic problems may look puzzling at first, but you can use real maths to solve them, and the answers are right there in the book. There are lots of clues and hints; plus all the answers are in the back of the book. Best of all, all the kids you read about in the other books about Wayside School are here to help you!Try solving this, and more than

May 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure this should be classified as arithmetic. Most of the problems were just pure substitution and guess and check. Very difficult for students who struggle and too mind numbing for any enrichment.
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Oh my god! I loved this book! I used to spend hours doing the puzzles. I swear one of Mr. Buhler's extra credits came staight out of this book.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
In a way, I can't help but wonder, "What the heck did I just read?'

I read this in one sitting, obvs. I figured out the answers to close to most, while others made me feel like a half gallon of milk had tipped over in my brain.

...I'm halfway between being a bit scared for these students...and being thankful that this is fiction...

I really have no idea what to say.
Tricky book to review. This ‘story’ is filled with a whole bunch of logic puzzles to try and solve. They definitely require persistence! I was able to successfully solve all 55 of the problems, although certain ones took me a long time!

I did read some of these out to my Grade 7 math class. Some students surprised me with their ability to deduce the answers.
Windy Kahler
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-bookshelf
A favorite from my childhood that I've passed on to my kids.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love puzzles and it was such a treat to get to do the "math" from the books.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book made my head hurt. 😣😩🤕
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book soooo much. The puzzles are extremely creative, interesting and fun to solve. They fit really well with the tone of wayside school too!
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tired of doing Sudoku or cross words, but you would still like to challenge your brain a little bit. Try reading Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. I had so much fun sitting down trying to figure out these word, no math, no word... oh, well... these problems. The zany stories that go with the problems are very much straight out out Wayside school from Louis Sachar's Wayside School series. The stories in this book are fun to read, and they lead into problems that are fun to ...more
Rachel Hancock
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-series
"Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School" is part of Louis Sachar's famous and ever-popular series, "Sideways Stories from Wayside School." In this book, Louis Sachar takes readers inside a bizarre math class at Wayside School. The book includes wacky arithmetics and absurd problems for students to try to work out.

As much as I enjoy Louis Sachar's writing, I did not love this book. I feel like it would be beneficial for older readers (perhaps 3rd and 4th grade), however, I think it would likely
Ericka Clouther
A bunch of tricky word problems. I loved these as a kid. A sneaky way to teach kids critical thinking skills.
Sara Trivedi
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School was another recommendation from my 2nd-grader. We both really enjoy working out puzzles, both word and math, so this is exactly the type of book to keep us engrossed for much longer than we needed to be. There are still many, many problems we have yet to solve, but we enjoyed Sachar's humor throughout the book. I'm looking forward to reading more from this series.
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I found this book in a box from when I was younger. I LOVE this book. It is a bunch of fun math problems such as "ewe + dell = woods", where you try to figure out the numbers that are represented by each letter, as well as some good word problems. It makes it especially fun because he uses the characters from his "Wayside School" series, so for any out there that are fans of the Wayside School and fun logic problems, you can't beat this.
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Its mainly about sue not understanding + and - words. So for example apples + oranges and sue said fruit but Im not going to tell you the answer because you need to read the story to figure it out! In the mean time they have all these questions they need to answer. The class wants to now the answers but the teacher forgot all the answers. At the end of the story the teacher finds the answers and tells the class.
M.M. Strawberry Reviews
Louis Sachar has written some pretty great children's books and I read many of them back in elementary school. This was one of them, and is part of the weird Wayside School series, where nothing makes sense if you try to understand it. However, if you don't try, and just sit back and enjoy this book for its weird storytelling, it become a fun experience. In this installment, you're introduced to some pretty weird math, like 'elf + elf = fool'. Wait, what? Well, read this book and find out!
Briaughna Ashley
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading these books growing up, and I think that they would be really useful in my own classroom. They would encourage students to think outside of the box and to look at the world in their own way, even if that's not the way that everyone else sees it, and I think the students preparing to enter middle school could really use that extra encouragement.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is totally all about math, except in words. It is probably the hardest book i have read in my entire life. It was soooooooo hard to solve the problems. I managed to solve a few but the rest I had to skip because they were sooooo hard for me to do. I am only in fifth grade and I will probably learn that in 6th grade. It was still a good book and I enjoyed it a lot.
Julie S.
This was strange as would be expected from Louis Sachar. Some laughs. This reminded me why I loved the Wayside School books. I may just have pull them off my shelf and reread some chapters. I feel some nostalgia for gross lunches, dead rats infiltrating the classroom, teachers with cowbells, and the missing floor (was it the 19th floor?- I can't remember).
Emma Nolan
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids
Recommended to Emma by: teacher
I was so excited to be doing the homework the kids from Wayside School were doing. My mom was always doing logic puzzles herself, and as a kid I would sit with her and help her with them. So with a little bit of explanation from my mom that these were like that, I could get into it. I must've done the problems over and over again many times.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love all of the Sideways books. This one was interesting in it's own way. I hated, and still am not a big fan of math. This book made math interesting and amusing. I do like puzzles and things. Maybe that had some to do with it.
I really didn't do much of the mind puzzles in the book strictly because I want to do them with my son when he gets older. It was a fun book and I think I could handle going to school at the Wayside school.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meant for young readers, this book had me confused and unable to follow. There are 30 chapters which are 30 vignettes about students and teachers in the Wayside school. I found it a bit mean spirited. Sorry Louis Sachar - I hate when I get a bad review!
Sue was starting her first day at Wayside School. She began to learn that Wayside is not a normal school and the teachers are a little nuts. Her teacher, Mrs. Jewls, wants her students to add and subtract everything but numbers. That means words and fruits and all kinds of crazy things.

Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-reads
Reading level 5 is correct, but let me be honest: I am just as bad at these puzzles at 33 as I was at 10. (Though f I didn't get frustrated after about 3 minutes on any of them, I'd probably be better.)

I'll crack you some day, Sideways Arithmetic. ::shakes fist::
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Learning Arithmetic from Wayside School was waaaaay more difficult than arithmetic when I was at school years before.
Thank God I didn't study in Wayside School.
It still fun though. And confusing at the same time. lol
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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
More about Louis Sachar

Other books in the series

Wayside School (5 books)
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Wayside School #1)
  • Wayside School Is Falling Down (Wayside School #2)
  • More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School (Wayside School #2.6)
  • Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger (Wayside School #3)

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