Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far. It took multiple naps and a really good night’s sleep on Sunday night, but I finally managed to regain my energy after participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.
The Readathon was a great chance to read a lot of wonderful books! On Saturday, I posted reviews for Exit Strategy, by Martha Wells, and the Saint Tail manga series, by Megumi Tachikawa. However, I did not have the opportunity to review many of the other novels that I finished. I’m looking forward to sharing these books with you over the next couple of weeks, and I thought I’d start with the first two books I read during the Readathon…Sideways Stories From Wayside School and Wayside School is Falling Down, by Louis Sachar.
Sideways Stories From Wayside School and Wayside School is Falling Down are two hilarious books about the students who attend Wayside School, an elementary school that was accidentally built incorrectly.
“It was supposed to be only one story high, with thirty classrooms all in a row. Instead it is thirty stories high, with one classroom on each story. The builder said he was very sorry.”Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Louis Sachar (page 9)
The first book in the series, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, has a total of thirty chapters, and each one tells a story about a different student or teacher. Some of my favorite stories are the ones about Mrs. Gorf, who tries to turn all of her students into apples; Leslie, who wants to sell her toes because she doesn’t know what to do with them; Paul, who spends his day trying not to pull Leslie’s pigtails; and Miss Zarves, the teacher on the nineteenth story, who does not exist.
Wayside School is Falling Down continues to tell stories about this unique class of students, but focuses on some of the bizarre things that happen all over the school, rather than telling stories about individual characters. Some of my favorite stories from this book are about things like Mrs. Jewls’s lesson on gravity, the effects of eating a cafeteria-made lunch, dance lessons, having a substitute teacher, and what happens when a student manages to stumble into the supposedly nonexistent nineteenth story.
I first read these books when I was an elementary school student. If I remember correctly, they were either titles that I got through the Scholastic Book Club, or possibly at the Book Fair. I absolutely loved them when I was a kid, and I’ve read them so many times that they are literally falling apart. Even as an adult reader, I still find these books very funny, and pretty much giggled my way through them on Saturday morning.
These are great books for kids who are reluctant readers, not only because they are extremely funny, but also because each story is fairly short (only a few pages in length). I’ve occasionally used these books while tutoring, because the stories are fun for students to read out loud, and they include a lot of odd details that result in great discussions.
In addition to the first two titles, there are several other books in this series, including: Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School, More Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School, and Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom. While I have read Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, and thought it was hilarious, I have not have the opportunity to read the others.
If you’re looking for some funny books for a young reader, or if you’d like something that you can all laugh about as a family, you might really enjoy the first two books in the Wayside Stories series.