WaysideFallingWayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar, 1989.

The books in the Wayside School Series are collections of short, funny stories about a school that was accidentally built sideways.  Instead of being a one-story school with thirty classrooms all in a row, Wayside School is a thirty-story school with only one classroom on each floor.  Strange things are always happening there. The stories mostly focus on the kids in Mrs. Jewls’s class on the top floor of the school.  Like the first book in the series, there are 30 short stories in this book.

It would take too long to describe all the stories in the book individually, but they’re just as funny as in the first one.  Mrs. Jewls has a new student, Mark Miller, except that Mark Miller is really Benjamin Nushmutt.  Benjamin would correct Mrs. Jewls except that he seems to be a much better and more popular student as Mark Miller.  But, as he soon learns, answering to a name that isn’t yours is about the least strange thing at his new school.

WaysidePic1Socks figure into many of the stories, with a special jingle invented by Mac, who used to be named Nancy until he traded names with a girl.  It’s fortunate that Mac invented the jingle because Allison uses it to free herself from the non-existent 19th story.  Myron chooses freedom over safety, emancipating himself from the school’s rules.  Bebe invents a younger brother, and things turn around for Leslie when her pigtails pull Paul.  Rondi fears that she’s no longer cute now that her front teeth have grown in.  Joy learns the best thing about the toy dog that Todd brought to school, and Ron actually tries the school lunch.

There are plenty of lessons to learn.  Watch as Mrs. Jewls teaches her class about gravity using her brand new computer!  Dana thinks that she hates stories until she learns that she actually loves them.  Mrs. Jewls teaches Jason not to chew pencils using masking tape.  Dameon learns about love via a dead rat.  Stephen explains how uncomfortable clothes and strangling ties make people look important, and Mrs. Jewls says that it’s what’s underneath that counts, so it’s best to wear expensive undies.  Then, everyone learns to tango in dance class (except Myron).

But, one windy day, the children are faced with an alarming possibility: Can their overly-tall school actually fall down?  (Lyrics courtesy of Kathy, who still hates everyone.)


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