Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

4.4 86
by Louis Sachar, Adam Mccauley, Adam McCauley
     
 

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You can imagine the confusion at Wayside School when the builder made a terrible mistake. You see, instead of building 30 classrooms side-by-side, he built them one on top of another.

Maybe that accounts for the wacky goings-on in Mrs. Jewls' class. Where else will you find children being turned into apples, dead rats wearing raincoats, and little girls who…  See more details below

Overview

You can imagine the confusion at Wayside School when the builder made a terrible mistake. You see, instead of building 30 classrooms side-by-side, he built them one on top of another.

Maybe that accounts for the wacky goings-on in Mrs. Jewls' class. Where else will you find children being turned into apples, dead rats wearing raincoats, and little girls who try to sell their toes? If you're confused too, maybe Todd can explain it to you, but just remember, he leaves at noon.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Sachar takes kids to that very peculiar school built with thirty classrooms on top of each other, and tells stories about the very strange teachers and students. Mrs. Gorf, who turned students into apples, came to a very bad end. She was replace by Mrs. Jewls, who has a penchant for writing kids' names under the Discipline heading on the blackboard. Within many of these stories are some gems of truth, such as the story of D.J., whose smile is contagious and who states at the end when pressed for a reason for his smiling state, "You need a reason to be sad. You don't need a reason to be happy." Others in the series are Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger and Wayside School is Falling Down. 1998 (orig.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380698714
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/1985
Series:
Wayside School Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
34,942
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mrs. Gorf

Mrs. Gorf had a long tongue and pointed ears. She was the meanest teacher in Wayside School. She taught the class on the thirtieth story.

"If you children are bad," she warned, "or if you answer a problem wrong, I'll wiggle my ears, stick out my tongue, and turn you into apples!" Mrs. Gorf didn't like children, but she loved apples.

Joe couldn't add. He couldn't even count. But he knew that if he answered a problem wrong, he would be turned into an apple. So he copied from John. He didn't like to cheat, but Mrs. Gorf had never taught him how to add. One day Mrs. Gorf caught Joe copying John's paper.

She wiggled her ears--first her right one, then her left--stuck out her tongue, and turned Joe into an apple. Then she turned John into an apple for letting Joe cheat.

"Hey, that isn't fair," said Todd. "John was only trying to help a friend."

Mrs. Gorf wiggled her ears--first her right one, then her left--stuck out her tongue, and turned Todd into an apple. "Does anybody else have an opinion?" she asked.

Nobody said a word.

Mrs. Gorf laughed and placed the three apples on her desk.

Stephen started to cry. He couldn't help it. He was scared.

"I do not allow crying in the classroom," said Mrs. Gorf. She wiggled her ears--first her right one, then her left--stuck out her tongue, and turned Stephen into an apple.

For the rest of the day, the children were absolutely quiet. And when they went home, they were too scared even to talk to their parents.

But Joe, John, Todd, and Stephen couldn't go home. Mrs. Gorf just left them on her desk. They were able to talk toeach other, but they didn't have much to say.

Their parents were very worried. They didn't know where their children were. Nobody seemed to know.

The next day Kathy was late for school. As soon as she walked in, Mrs. Gorf turned her into an apple.

Paul sneezed during class. He was turned into an apple.

Nancy said, "God bless you!" when Paul sneezed. Mrs. Gorf wiggled her ears--first her right one, then her left--stuck out her tongue, and turned Nancy into an apple.

Terrence fell out of his chair. He was turned into an apple.

Maurecia tried to run away. She was halfway to the door as Mrs. Gorf's right ear began to wiggle. When she reached the door, Mrs. Gorf's left ear wiggled. Maurecia opened the door and had one foot outside when Mrs. Gorf stuck out her tongue. Maurecia became an apple.

Mrs. Gorf picked up the apple from the floor and put it on her desk with the others. Then a funny thing happened. Mrs. Gorf turned around and fell over a piece of chalk.

The three Erics laughed. They were turned into apples.

Mrs. Gorf had a dozen apples on her desk: Joe, John, Todd, Stephen, Kathy, Paul, Nancy, Terrence, Maurecia, and the three Erics -- Eric Fry, Eric Bacon, and Eric Ovens.

Louis, the yard teacher, walked into the classroom. He had missed the children at recess. He had heard that Mrs. Gorf was a mean teacher. So he came up to investigate. He saw the twelve apples on Mrs. Gorf's desk. "I must be wrong," he thought. "She must be a good teacher if so many children bring her apples." He walked back down to the playground.

The next day a dozen more children were turned into apples. Louis, the yard teacher, came back into the room. He saw twenty-four apples on Mrs. Gorf's desk. There were only three children left in the class. ''She must be the best teacher in the world," he thought.

By the end of the week all of the children were apples. Mrs. Gorf was very happy. ''Now I can go home," she said. "I don't have to teach anymore. I won't have to walk up thirty flights of stairs ever again."

"You're not going anywhere," shouted Todd. He jumped off the desk and bopped Mrs. Gorf on the nose.

The rest of the apples followed. Mrs. Gorf fell on the floor. The apples jumped all over her.

"Stop," she shouted, "or I'll turn you into apple sauce!"

But the apples didn't stop, and Mrs. Gorf could do nothing about it.

"Turn us back into children," Todd demanded.

Mrs. Gorf had no choice. She stuck out her tongue, wiggled her ears--this time her left one first, then her right--and turned the apples back into children.

"All right, " said Maurecia, "let's go get Louis. He'll know what to do."

"No!" screamed Mrs. Gorf. "I'll turn you back into apples." She wiggled her ears--first her right one, then her left--and stuck out her tongue. But Jenny held up a mirror, and Mrs. Gorf turned herself into an apple.

The children didn't know what to do. They didn't have a teacher. Even though Mrs. Gorf was mean, they didn't think it was right to leave her as an apple. But none of them knew how to wiggle their ears.

Louis, the yard teacher, walked in. "Where's Mrs. Gorf?" he asked.

Nobody said a word.

"Boy, am I hungry," said Louis. "I don't think Mrs. Gorf would mind if I ate this apple. After all, she always has so many."

He picked up the apple, which was really Mrs. Gorf, shined it up on his shirt, and ate it.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Copyright © by Louis Sachar. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

When Louis Sachar was going to school, his teachers always pronounced his name wrong. Now that he has become a popular author of children’s books, teachers all over the country are pronouncing his name wrong. It should be pronounced “Sacker,” like someone who tackles quarterbacks or someone who stuffs potatoes into sacks.

Mr. Sachar received a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. His first book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, was accepted for publication during his first year of law school. After receiving his law degree, he spent six years asking himself whether he wanted to be an author or a lawyer before deciding to write for children full-time. His books include Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, Wayside School is Falling Down, Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes, and the Marvin Redpost series.

Louis Sachar lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and their daughter, Sherre.

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Sideways Stories from Wayside School 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was desperately seeking a book that would inspire a love of reading in my 9 year old. She hated reading. A friend of mine is a school teacher and she highly reccommended this book. My child loved this book! I could hear her laughing as she read it. Truly excellent.
SELFMADENJ More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! My teacher read it in class all the time when I was in 4th grade. I'm 30 now and I have been looking for it so that my children can read it!!!!! Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a chapter in this series with my friend's son each night. The characters keep him interested and engaged. The comedy of each special "wayside" situation provides lots of conversation points with my favorite six year old. The writing is easy enough for him to practice reading the lines of each character, and the situations silly enough that we make it to the end of the chapter laughing! Some of the content might be edgy for some parents, so it is important to read the content in advance so you are prepared to answer questions about a smelly rat or the pulling of braids. I highly HIGHLY recommend this book to any parent or grandparent looking for a way to get a child, especially a boy, interested in reading.
tx_shorttcake More than 1 year ago
my teacher used to read this book in class when i was still a kid in elementry school and it was one of my favorite books ever... to be honest i haven't read it since third grade or so, now i'm a freshmen in high school, but i would recommend it to anyone anywhere! it is great, funny, and a major attention getter of children around the ages of first to fourth grade... i'm so glad that my teacher read it to me.
Franne47 More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book to tots over 20 years ago and it still works. It's a chance to use funny voices and get the class/children to participate. The original cover was better but the content is still super. Great book to read to a class of 6 year olds!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book was really great! My 1st grade teacher read this book to the class and everybody loved it. I recommend this book to all ages. It was hilarious and the characters were so wacky!!!!!!
Butterscotch58 More than 1 year ago
This book was really fun to read! It's funny and alive, a great pick for non-readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Wayside School because each chapter has children or child or adult that goes to Wayside School. This book is are for people who like funny stuff. I think one of the best chapters was Mrs. Jewels. When she first got in she thought everyone was a monkey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest book I've ever read!!
Sparklesrich1 More than 1 year ago
This book is funny and makes you laugh out loud! The characters are super silly! I would totally recommend this book to third or fourth graders. It would probably be to easy for fifth graders and up! I am in fifth grade know and i think i was in 3rd grade when I read this book and the other ones in this series. Hope this helped people out! 
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TheReadingSpecialist More than 1 year ago
My favorite part is when Butter Fingers touch the ball and the ball slipped off his fingers. What was really funny about this book is the names of the characters. For example, Eric Bacon, Eric Frye and Eric Oven. Those were the funniest names I ever heard in my life, EVER!!! It was HILLARIOUS!!! Cameron Fane 7 years old
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Wayside School was a set up to be special from the moment the builders mistakenly built it as thirty one-room floors instead of one thirty-room floor. Luckily this left a lot of extra space for the playground, a playground that Mrs. Jewels' class rarely gets to play on since their room is at the top of the building.

I remember loving the Wayside books as a kid. Anything and everything could and did happen, from dead rats who are determined to sneak into Mrs. Jewels class, to Mrs. Zorf (who doesn't exist, and her classroom on the 19th floor which also doesn't exist) to puns and humorous literal interpretations of concepts. In trying to expand my children's love of stories I picked Sideways Stories from Wayside School to read before bed each night.

While we enjoyed some stories, like Mrs. Gorf (who turns the kids into apples when they misbehave), Mrs. Jewels (who thinks the class is filled with monkeys because children can't possibly be so cute) and Todd (a student who just cannot seem to get through a whole day without being sent home, no matter how hard he tries), others were a complete miss. There were some stories I feel we didn't connect with because my son is a very literal thinker and didn't "get" the joke.

Being willing to believe anything is important to enjoying the thirty short stories in this book. If your child can suspend disbelief then they'll love these wacky tales. But if you stall on how unreal the concept of a story is then it's hard to get past that. Sachar doesn't suspend disbelief, he assumes you've already done that and writes a story about what happens afterwards.

Most of the stories are about three pages long, which lends well to before bed reading. Each is about a different student or teacher, but they all feature a familiar cast of characters which also makes this book good for reading in small bits since each story is like an episode, a whole story on its own but expands the world of Wayside a little bit at a time. The short length of the stories will also help children still learning to read or parents who burnout on books aimed at kids balance the pros of reading together with the frustrations.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When our teacher first read 'Wayside School', we knew it was a silly and odd book. There's lots of funny parts like when Mrs. Gorf got turned into an apple. We laughed. The book should be good for all ages. Hope you enjoy the book.