Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom (Wayside School #4)

Louis Sachar, illus. by Tim Heitz. HarperCollins, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-296538-7
Sachar’s snappy comedic stride doesn’t miss a beat in his series’ fourth installment—the first since 1995’s Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger—as the curiosities of Mrs. Jewls’s 30th-floor classroom multiply more quickly than ever. In order to demonstrate the concept of one million, the teacher announces, “We need to collect a million somethings,” and decides (because Terrence happens to be cutting his big toenail at the time) that those somethings will be nail clippings. Dr. Pickle cannily manipulates his hypnotic, pickle-shaped stone to cure Kathy’s persistent hiccups, reversing her sour disposition in the process. Wayside gets even wonkier after an ominous cloud settles over the building: the faces of Dana and Principal Kidswatter become stuck in humorously contorted expressions, and students use the cloud as a convenient scapegoat for failing a test and being tardy to school. Yet, “cloud or no cloud,” the teacher insists that the kids take the Ultimate Test, in which outlandish challenges allow each student’s unique talent to shine. Into the regaling levity, Sachar characteristically slips worthy nuggets about the rewards of kindness and friendship. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/19/2019
Release date: 03/03/2020
Genre: Children's
Other - 978-0-06-298966-6
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-296542-4
Library Binding - 192 pages - 978-0-06-296540-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-1600-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1598-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1599-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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