Caramel has already reviewed Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Wayside School Is Falling Down, both by Louis Sachar. Today he reviews the third book in the series, Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, first published in 1996. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.
Sprinkles: Caramel, you have already introduced us to Wayside School in your review of Sideways Stories from Wayside School. And then you told us that the second book, Wayside School Is Falling Down, kind of ended on a cliffhanger.
Caramel: Well, the school was overrun by cows and so everyone had to leave the building.
S: Yes, I remember. So does this book pick up where the last one left us?
C: Yes, the first chapter is about how Louis cleaned up the mess and made it safe for students and teachers to come back. And then all kinds of weird stuff happen again.
S: Tell us about some of them.
C: Miss Zarves from the nineteenth story finds out that there is still a cow in her classroom.
S: Wait, I am still not sure I understand this nineteenth story because it does not exist and yet it does?
C: You think I understand it? I don’t either. but in the second book there was a girl named Alison who found her way to Miss Zarves’ classroom and in this book, too, there is a chapter for the same classroom.
S: An d I bet it is the nineteenth chapter, right?
C: Yes, of course!
S: Of course. So what else happens?
C: So Mrs. Jewls is pregnant, and so she goes on maternity leave, and so the kids on the thirtieth floor have substitute teachers. And all of them are evil and horrible.
S: Tell me more.
C: the first one is Mrs. Gorf’s son.
S: I remember Mrs. Gorf. That is the one who turned children into apples, right?
C: Right. So Mr. Gorf steals children’s voices. And he is pretty terrible.
S: Sounds scary.
C: I guess it makes the class quiet.
S: Well, I guess.
C: Anyways, then there is Miss Drazil and she is not too bad but Louis dislikes her, because she was his teacher, and she hated him, and she makes him miserable. But in the end it seems like she is actually not that bad and Louis was the one who made her miserable.
S: I see.
C: Then there is a third teacher, Miss Nogard. And she can hear people’s thoughts and she uses them against the children, making them all doubt themselves and be unhappy.
S: She sounds horrible.
C: She is. Until the end. At the end she listens to a baby’s thoughts, and apparently a baby’s thoughts are all full of love, so Miss Nogard also fills up with love.
S: I guess that is good.
C: Yes. And in the end Mrs. Jewls comes back, too. The baby is hers.
S: I see.
S: So did you notice that the three substitute teachers’ names were animal names spelled backwards? Gorf is frog, Drazil is lizard, and Nogard is Dragon.
C: Yes.I did not think of Gorf in the earlier books. But I began to suspect something when I read about Drazil, it sounded like Brazil but not quite. And then Nogard is DRAGON backwards. And I know that of course.
S: Of course. So tell me. Did you enjoy this book too? I did see that once you began reading it, you could not drop it until you finished.
C: It is a quick and very fun read.
S: That is great Caramel. Did you know there is a fourth book, published only a couple years ago?
C: Yep. And I want to read that next.
S: I am sure that can be arranged.
C: Great! Make it so. Please.
S: I can see you channeling your inner Jean-Luc Picard there. Okay, we will see. Let us wrap up this review then. What would you like to tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!