<iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=areyoutheyoui-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0380731487&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”>Wow. I can’t believe how much I used to love this book as a kid. So much that I bought the entire Wayside series for my nephew one year for his birthday. Now I’m wondering if he thinks I hate him. Because this book, which I remembered being so wonderful and quirky, is really just blah. Don’t get me wrong, Louis Sachar (author of the far more fantastic Holes) tries very hard. And he probably has written a book here that appeals to kids, but that adults just don’t get.
Wayside school was built wrong. All thirty classrooms were supposed to be next to each other on one floor, but the designers made a mistake and they built a school with thirty stories, one classroom per floor. Sideways Stories focuses on the students on the thirtieth floor, each student being given one chapter, about 3-5 pages in length.
And the stories are definitely bizarre. From Mrs. Gorf, the evil first teacher who got turned into an apple and eaten by the recess monitor, to John who can only read upside down, to Sammy who turns out to be a dead rat in disguise, to Maurecia who only eats ice cream and Nancy, the boy who hates his girl’s name, each of the stories is actually fairly wacky.
So I should have liked it. But for whatever reason, the wackiness just wasn’t doing it for me. The few short chapters that totally worked for me?
- Paul – the kid who believed the pigtails of the girl in front of him were begging to be pulled.
- Allison – who learns that the students really are smarter than the teachers
- Dameon – whose pupils of his eyes are metaphorically linked to his lost pencil
- Louis – the playground monitor, who, at the end we find out is telling this story about the students at Wayside School.
Even going back and reading this post, I think I’m kind of making it sound like a good book. And now I’m wondering if I was just not in the right mood when I read it. *shrugs* Either way, I’d recommend Holes over this book any day.
I’ve had a great reception to my Banned Books Week Challenge! I tried to email everyone back, but I’m not always the most reliable emailer. So, if I didn’t get back to you A-I’m sorry. And B- write your BBW post sometime between September 25th and October 1st. Email me a link no later than October first (nhboisture (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll do my BBW roundup post on the last day of BBW, October second, and I’ll include a link to everyone who wrote for the challenge. Sometime during that week, I’ll be posting my own banned book review on the Harry Potter series. Also, everyone who participates is automatically entered to win a prize!