Caramel has recently been reading Louis Sachar’s Wayside School series. Today he reviews the fourth and last book in the series, Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom, published only in 2020.
(You might like to read Caramel’s reviews of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School Is Falling Down, and Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger before moving on.)
Sprinkles: Okay Caramel. I think we finally came to the end of these Wayside School books.
Caramel: Yes. Unfortunately.
S: This one was written so many years after the previous one. There are almost twenty-five years in between. Did you notice anything?
C: No! This book picks up where the other one ended. At least the students and the teachers are all the same.
S: That is interesting. So then there could not have been twenty years in between the two books, in the story world.
S: Apparently the author wrote this new book because he was worried about a lot of things going on in the world. Is the book itself about sad or scary things?
C: Not really. It is just as funny and wacky as the other books.
S: But there is this cloud of doom? Tell me a bit about that.
C: The cloud of doom is a weird cloud that makes everyone feel anxious and unhappy.
S: Hmm. The cloud seems to appear some time in Chapter 8. Then it hangs around till the end of the book, right?
C: Right. But still a lot of funny and strange things happen.
S: So the book is organized into thirty chapters as the previous ones, right?
C: Yep. Yes.
S: Can you pick one, maybe your favorite, and tell me a bit about that?
C: I can tell you about Chapter 10. It is called “Stuck”. One of the kids gets her face stuck in a weird shape, and the whole chapter, all the people in the school try to help her get her face unstuck.
S: That is a weird one Caramel! The author comes up with so many weird ideas!
C: Yes. He also has a funny idea about how paper clips are made. Apparently it takes four people to make one paper clip.
C: No. But apparently that is what Ms. Jewls tells her students so they won’t lose the paper clips she gives them.
S: And this is the good teacher, right?
C: Well she is relatively kinder to them than the very first teacher from the first book. The kids like her a lot. And she likes them too.
S: Well, those are good qualities in a teacher.
S: So if you were to describe this book using three words, how would you do it?
C: Funny, wacky, downright outrageous.
S: Hmm, I am assuming you mean that in a positive way?
C: Of course!
S: Okay, so do you think there will be a fifth Wayside School book?
C: I hope so.
S: I guess we can hope that the author will write another one some day. But in the meantime did you know that there are a couple puzzle books he wrote about the Wayside School?
C: Oh, I like puzzles!
S: I did see one of them before. They are cool puzzles. Maybe we will take a look one day.
C: That would be fun!
S: Okay Caramel. It is probably time to wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!
3 thoughts on “Caramel reviews Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar”
Hmm, I think this explains it. In an interview with the Washington Post, Louis Sachar explained that the story was inspired by various factors in the modern world that have been causing him stress, including global warming, his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and the election of Donald Trump.
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Yes, we linked to that interview. It is also full of info about the author.
I wonder what that strange cloud hanging around is all about? Yes, it is a wacky –but also funny school.
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