Wayside School

More adventures in the Favat Children Section! I have just discovered that we carry Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, one of those fantastic, delightful stories from childhood that are just as good if not better, now that I’m older. Somehow, the crazy, unbelievable characters end up sneaking their way into your affections, ridiculous as they are. Oddly enough, this is the third book in the series, so poor readers happening upon this in their pursuit of excellent literature for the immature mind, risks being confused by all the Crazy echoing through the Wayside School hall. This is because it is in the first novel, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, that each student is lovingly described. In that, we are introduced to the silly school, with its 30 floors (but no nineteenth floor), crazy students (like Todd, who is the best behaved student and yet always ends up getting sent home at noon on the kindergarten bus as punishment), lovely faculty (like Louis, the yard teacher, patterned after the author Sachar himself), and miscellaneous things (like the pesky dead rats that are always trying to sneak into Ms. Jewls’ thirtieth floor classroom).  In Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, they have already gotten rid of all the cows (mostly) and school has resumed. Mrs. Jewls is on maternity leave, so the students are subject to some horrible substitues, including the three-eared, love-jaded Ms. Nogard, and Mrs. Drazil, Louis’ ex-teacher. I love how well Sachar does the absurd thing (by the way, he’s the author of the awesome Holes, the book upon which the 2003 movie starring Shia LaBeouf was based). I love the no-19th-floor storyline that keeps reappearing throughout the series, the mysterious men with the attache cases and, most of all, those dead rats (they live in the basement). I hear it was made into an animated movie (with a young[er] Michael Cera voicing one of the characters), but I maintain that it would be awesome as a real-life movie, targeted not at 7-12 year olds, but at… 21-30 year olds. As long as I’m part of the year-olds, I don’t care.