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. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/24/1995 Release date: 04/01/1995 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.