Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Wayside School Series #1)

Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Wayside School Series #1)


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Lois Sachar, best-selling author of the Wayside School series, knows how to make kids laugh. And there are laughs galore in this popular book, now available again in hardcover. Meet Mrs. Gorf, the teacher who turns the students in Wayside School into apples.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780688160869
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/26/1998
Series: Wayside School Series , #1
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 478,502
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.57(d)
Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About 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.

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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Sideways Stories from Wayside School 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book thier resess teacher was the aouther and thier was so much dital.I am eight
menaramore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tells the strange and funny tales of the teachers and students from Wayside School. Each person has their own interesting and silly story to tell. Students love this book.
stipe168 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
everyone can benefit from its truths. a great book to sit down and take in. the writing is pure, as are the children in it. ¿Class,¿ said Mrs. Jewls. ¿Let¿s all thank Louis for his wonderful story.¿ Everybody booed.
LAteacher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think if you are a fifth grader, boy or girl, you need to read this book. If you made it to sixth grade without reading it, stop now, and go read it!
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wayside school is a mixed-up, crazy place where an evil teacher turns children into apples, nicknames and names just don¿t make sense, and the cutest teeth are those that aren¿t there! This book isn¿t quite as funny as Wayside School is Falling Down, but is definitely amusing.
lekenned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These stories are great! Silly stories that are great for just encouraging students to read.
cfalls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good story to introduce at the beginning of the school year. This is about a class of silly students that live in a school that was built 30 stories up instead of 30 classrooms wide. The adventures never end between the teachers and the students. Your students are guaranteed to laugh at these funny stories.
amygatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is really a just-for-fun book and was one of my favorites as a young reader. It is a compilation of very wacky stories about a school that was built sideways and has a lot of crazy teachers and students, including one new student named Sammy who actually turns out to be a dead rat in a trench coat. I think the best quality of this book is its ability to make students laugh and inspire their creative thinking skills.
sarahbatte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite childrens books. These are little stories about different kids and teachers in wayside school. I really enjoyed reading this again from when I read as a child.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So funny and quirky and justifyably beloved by kids.
mdemock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book works well for guided reading groups or as a read aloud. It consists of many short stories about the students and other people at Wayside School. The stories are funny and quirky and appeal to most children.
lppeters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is such a fun read! It has a funny humor to it that keeps everyone engaged, including the teacher. I think this would be a wonderful source of positive reinforcement to the class, with an educational basis as a plus! The students would love to read this and I really do believe that it would help them stay on task and with good behavior if this was used for that manner.
clshelkoff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a very funny way to talk about a school and its students. Each chapter is about another interesting student or staff member at the school. The school was built on the intention to have 30 classrooms side by side, but instead the school was built with the 30 classrooms one on top of the other. This meant that the school was 30 stories tall. This book taks you through a typical day as a student in this very crazy school.
theokester on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.CharactersEach 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 interesting in that they are the only adults (once Mrs. Gorf is gone) and yet their behaviors are just as outrageous as those of the children.Where the characters really shine is in their simple, child-like logic not tainted by the "reality" of adult experience and education. Each of the characters find themselves in unique situations and react with matter-of-fact that are very true depictions of the mindset of a child.The simplicity and innocence of the characters' thinking serves as a great commentary not only on the humorous and sometimes foolish predicaments that they find themselves in, but also on the fact that sometimes those innocent and simple ideals are just as effective (or even more effective) than the "logical" views of the adult world.Plot/Pacing/Setting/EtcEach story had its own plot that was generally wrapped up within the story itself. Sometimes elements of one story will show up later in another story. The pacing is quick and engaging. Never did my kids get bored during the reading. If anything, the pacing may have been too quick at times since the kids were often bummed that a story was over too quickly.The setting of Wayside school was a quirky and unique exploration of a school. I loved the idea that the construction crew made a mistake and built the rooms one on top of another instead of side by side as in a "normal" school. I especially loved the last chapter where Louis tells the kids about other schools...and how strange they (we) are.OverallThis is a great collection of stories...essentially a collection of children's fables (although unlike a "true" fable, the morals are often left unsaid or less pronounced). The humor and wit is entertaining both for kids and adults and makes for an entertaining read. By breaking the book out into a series of many very short stories, this book becomes something that can be picked up for a quick 5-10 minutes of reading or can be lounged over for an hour or so. The language is simple enough that an early reader (1st-2nd grade) should be able to read it on his/her own. It's definitely a lot of fun to read aloud with kids and I'm glad I went that route with my kids. I look forward to finding more stories from Wayside school. ****4 stars
Ms.Turtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book about differnt students and Ms.Jewls. The first chapter was about Ms.Gorf that changed students into apples if they didnt pay attention, answer a problem, or anything a teacher wouldnt give a punishment for.
HeatherGabrich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These collection of book written by Louis Sachar are amazing for upper elementary and middle school kids. I chose this book to read with my practicum student and she loved it. It is about the crazy mixed up silly stories from Wayside School. The book focuses on the classroom on the 31st story and all of the crazy things that happen to the students. It begin with their teacher Mrs. Gorf turning all of the children in apples. They class get a new teacher, Mrs. Jewels. She imagines the whole class is monkey. That is where it all begin with the crazy mixed up stories to the students at Wayside School.