Something brought Wayside School up in conversation recently–I’ve forgotten what–and reminded me how much I enjoyed these very silly books when I was a kid. So I put all three – Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School Is Falling Down, and Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger on reserve from the library. The first two arrived quickly and I read them even more quickly–and they’re still very silly and fun.
Written by Louis Sachar (probably better known for Holes), the Wayside School books are about a school that was built sideways. Instead of 30 classrooms one story high, the school is 30 stories high with one classroom per floor. Also, there’s no 19th story. The class on the 19th story is taught by Miss Zarves, and there’s no Miss Zarves either. The books focus on the class at the top of the school, with each student getting their own chapter (more or less).
You can’t overthink the logic here. Actually, you can’t apply logic at all, because it would just spoil the whole thing. Mostly real world (ish), the books have occasional fantasy elements, including a teacher who turns students into apples. Possibly my favorite story (in the second book), is when a student finds herself on the 19th story, trapped in Miss Zarves’ class. Continue reading “Book Review: Sideways Stories from Wayside School”