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Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger Paperback – December 28, 2004

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Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger + Wayside School Is Falling Down + Sideways Stories from Wayside School
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Returning to the scene of Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Wayside School Is Falling Down, Sachar serves up 30 stories about the zany goings-on in his unorthodox 30-story-tall school. Sometimes silly, other times clever, the narrative revolves around the wacky substitute teachers who take Mrs. Jewls's place when she is on maternity leave. The kids on the 30th floor must contend with a fellow whose third nostril enables him to "suck" students' voices up his nose, and a rather sadistic woman whose third ear (hidden under her hair) gives her the power to read students' thoughts. The book's pace and punch seem to slacken midway through; the funniest vignettes (including the principal's caustic diatribe over the PA when he thinks the system is off and a parody of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that questions Santa Claus's existence) are found in the first half. But this will hardly deter Wayside School devotees from turning the pages eagerly, awaiting the next twist of plot or play on words. Sachar's supply of both seems inexhaustible. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6?These additional anecdotes about Wayside School will surely tickle the funny bones of Sachar's fans. Thirty more "time outs" are miraculously conflated into a semicoherent story about the students and teachers at this unique 30-story 1-classroom-per-floor elementary school. Mrs. Jewls, the teacher atop the school, is out on maternity leave and her students find themselves facing three consecutive substitutes: Mr. Gorf, who steals kids' voices; Mrs. Drazil, who can be super sweet or sociopathically sour depending on the class's adherence to her rules; and, finally, the mind-reading and malicious Miss Nogard, who has the disturbing desire to turn students against one another. Sachar's offering contains hilarity, malevolence, romance, relentless punning, goofiness, inspiration, revenge, and poignancy. There's an edge here that may disturb some adults?a couple of the subs are over-the-top mean?but young readers will revel in the pranks, wade through the romance, identify with the students' thoughts, detect the thread connecting these stories, and come to realize that good is better than glum.?John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wayside School
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380731495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380731497
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

author spotlight
Newbery Award-winning author Louis Sachar is the creator of the entertaining Marvin Redpost books as well as the much-loved There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, winner of 17 child-voted state awards.

Louis Sachar's book Holes, winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, is also an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick, an ALA Notable Book, and was made into a major motion picture.

A Few Words From Louis Sachar
Of all the characters from Holes, why did you choose to revisit Armpit in SMALL STEPS?
LS: I tend to write about underdogs. It seemed to me that life would be tough for an African-American teenager from a low-income family with a criminal record. Especially someone stuck with the name, "Armpit."
Although this new book is about a character from Holes, the two books are very different. How would you explain to a fan of Holes what to expect from SMALL STEPS?
LS: I can't. I'm no good at describing my books. Holes has been out now for seven years, and I still can't come up with a good answer when asked what that book is about.
Could you imagine future novels about any of the other boys?
Do you think about what Stanley is up to now?
LS: I don't think too much about Stanley or Zero. I left them in a good place. Although money doesn't bring happiness, or give meaning to someone's life, the problems Stanley and Zero face now (and I'm sure they do face many problems) are less interesting than those faced by someone like Armpit.
Plenty of teenagers fantasize about what it would be like to be a young rock star.
You portray it as lonely. Tell us about that decision.
LS: The media tends to portray the teenage world as one where drinking and sex is taken for granted. In fact, I think most teenagers don't drink, are unsure of themselves, and feel awkward around members of the opposite sex. I thought it was important to show Kaira, a rock star no less, as such a person. Her situation, in many ways, is made more difficult as she has no social contact with anyone her age. She is trapped in a world of agents, record producers, and hanger-ons.
I'm imagining that off all the books you've written, Holes is the one that has changed your life the most. Not only did it win the Newbery Medal, it's also simply a popular sensation. Is this assessment accurate? What is this novel's continuing impact on your life? Would you consider it the book that you are proudest of?
LS: Not counting Small Steps, I think Holes is my best book, in terms of plot, and setting, and the way the story revealed itself. It hasn't changed my life, other than that I have more money than I did before I wrote it. I'm still too close to Small Steps to compare it to Holes.
Why do you typically write only two hours each day?
LS: Small steps. Every time I start a new novel it seems like an impossible undertaking. If I tried to do too much too quickly, I would get lost and feel overwhelmed. I have to go slow, and give things a chance to take form and grow.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S.M.F. on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For 12 years, I've been reading these books to my students and they love them. When I see them check out these books to read on their own, it makes me so happy! I've read this to all my classes from 2nd grade to 5th grade. They absolutely love them!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger" by Louis Sachar is a hiliarious sequel to "Wayside School is Falling Down" also by Louis Sachar. This story takes place in a quite abnormal school. A school that was supposed to be built thirty classrooms side by side, but instead built thirty classrooms one on top of another.A thirty story building with no nineteenth story. The builder said he was very sorry. In "Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger" we get to meet the characters. There's Sharie who sleeps all day. Kathy who hates everyone. Todd who always get sent home on the kindergarten bus. Ms. Gorf who turns the children into apples, Louis the best yard teacher ever,and a few more teachers and students. In this book, Wayside School is closed to get rid of the........cows! Once the school reopens the fun starts. Doors become goozacks and the children loose their vocies, compleatly. Each chapter in this book gets funnier and stranger. Both books are so funny you won't be able to put them down.
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Format: Paperback
The kid's from Wayside school have to go to horrible schools for 243 days because Wayside school is getting repaired. When the kids are back, the fun starts! Miss Mush, the cook, is making baked liver with purple sauce. On Pet Day, on the 13th floor, Mrs. Jewls is getting confused because the kid's in her class are calling the wrong names for the pets. Then, when Mrs. Jewls is having a baby the class has substitute teachers. Horrible Substitutes! The first substitute was Mr. Gorf. The children had a teacher named Mrs. Gorf who was really mean. When Mr. Gorf was not in the classroom, the children thought Mr. Gorf was hiding somewhere, so they did their best work. After lunch, Myron says that they were doing this for nothing. When Myron opens the closet to prove it, Mr. Gorf steps out. Mr. Gorf had 3 nostrils to suck people's voices out. When Miss Mush comes back she puts the pie on Mr. Gorf's face and his nose falls off! Then all the children's voices come back. The next substitute teacher the children have was Mrs. Drazil. She was very nice, but she made Louis the yard teacher shave off his mustache and be clean. Miss Zarves was in Room 19. There was no Room 19, so there was no Miss Zarves. The last substitute was Miss Nogard. She had 3 ears! There was an ear on the top of her head. Miss Nogard became evil when she met Xavier. She hated children the most. Then when Mrs. Jewls returns, Miss Nogard's hatefulness flies out the window. I like this book because it is funny and has fun characters. My favorite character is Louis. I like Louis because he likes games like I do. I want people to read Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger because it is funny and you can always try to figure out what will happen next. If you read this book, I think you will like it! VZ
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Format: Paperback
Title:Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger

By:Louis Sachar

Reviewed By:Andy Tang


Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, is a sequel to the book, Wayside School. Wayside School was closed down for 243 days. Kids were saddened as they saw the sign "Wayside School Closed for Repairs." The great 30 story school was closed due to a cow problem. It starts with the school re-opening and there are many small stories about the kids. But, the teacher on the 30th floor, Mrs. Jewels, is having a baby. This is a very good and bad time for the kids. They have the pleasure of helping her teacher with naming her child by giving it names like Buckethead or Cootie Face, but they're going to have a substitute for a very long time. They end up having three different substitutes. The first one was Mr. Gorf, an evil teacher, who uses his nose to steal people's voices. The second one was an old, mean lady, who tries to make Louis, the fun-loving janitor, into a good schoolboy. The last one was Miss Nogard, a lady who had three noses-two normal ones, and one on her forehead, where she could listen to what people are thinking. The book ends up with the children trying to get Miss Nogard go out on a date with Louis. The book is very funny and imagninative.

I liked the book, because it really made me laugh. Louis Sachar must be a true kid at heart, because he takes school and makes it fun and entertainable. He shows the way kids feel at school, and he adds a lot of twisted comedy to it. The idea of a 30 story school is just unbelievable. But, Mr. Sachar, does a great job of depicting the school, to make it seem real. He also describes each and every one of the kids well as well.
Read more ›
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on November 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thirty more chapters in the story of Wayside School, which is thirty stories high since it was accidentally built on its side. This is a great book, and probably my favorite in the Wayside School series. The stories are phenomenally quirky, and maintain an upbeat sense of optimism without preaching at all. Nearly all of the chapters work as stand-alone stories, although their degree of interrelatedness grows towards the end. For me, there were two standout stories. In the first, a boy is sent to the counselor because he can't stop himself from pulling Leslie's pigtails. He is hypnotized to stop, but also to see her ears as delicious candy when she uses the word pencil. In the last few paragraphs, Leslie breaks her pencil point, sharpens it, and then drops it beneath Paul's desk, but never uses the word pencil, ending the story without the expected climax. In the other one, a substitute teacher arrives with a third nostril, through which he sucks up the voice of every child as he or she speaks. Eventually the cafeteria worker Miss Mush saves the day with a Pepper-Pie-induced sneezing fit returning things to normal. I am so glad that one of Sachar's books was made into a movie that I enjoyed, because otherwise I would never have heard of him.

The Good and the Bad:

The writing is accessible and funny, to both young people and adults. The level of silliness is perfect, although there is one schmaltzy moment at the end that seemed out of whack with the rest of the book. But since this is an isolated incident, I'll give it a pass; kids will probably eat it up anyhow, and a book of thirty stories can afford to have one strong moral, I suppose.
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