Wayside School is Falling Down
The thirtieth floor of Wayside School is home to Mrs. Jewls’ class and the setting for some of the craziest situations you will ever read about. Louis Sachar, the author of Wayside School is Falling Down, has written another excellent story about the perils of elementary school and all the inner workings that only students can truly understand and appreciate. There are lots of stories about socks, tempting pigtails, non existent floors and teachers, the three Erics, bad men in the basement, an evil teacher and cows stuck on the roof.
It is a little bit difficult to give a description of this book’s story line because it is all over the place. Each of the 30 chapter tells a different story and some seem like they are in order, others do not and some you just don’t know where they fit into the story line, they are very loosely tied together. Mrs. Jewls has some very interesting teaching techniques and the room is hardly ever under control, the children mostly run the show. In Chapter One, Mrs. Jewls is teaching the kids about gravity by throwing a computer out the window, and that is only one of her ideas about how to teach her 29 students. Other chapters include stories from almost everyone about socks, an entire chapter that is written backwards, Todd, who gets in trouble everyday and is sent home on the kindergarten bus, that is until Mrs. Jewls sends her self home on it one day. Mrs. Mush and her dreaded Mushroom Surprise, which Ron decides to eat on day and ends up falling in love with Mrs. Jewls. Mark Miller whose name is really Benjamin Nushmutt, but decides not to tell anyone until Allison ends up on the non existent 19 th floor and finds the real Mark Miller in Mrs. Zarves class, who doesn’t exist. The dramatic ending of the book comes when a strong wind is brewing and a fire alarm goes off, the class is that it may be real so she leads her class to the roof with her cow bell, while on the roof they start to her a rumbling and a very strong wind starts moving the building. A tornado is spotted and that explains the wind, but where is that rumbling coming from? Mrs. Jewls cow bell has called all of the cows from surrounding areas to the school and up the stairs, and everyone knows cows can go upstairs but they can’t go down. In the end school is canceled and only Louis, the schoolyard teacher is left to try and get rid of the cows.
Wayside School is falling down is a fun book. I don’t think it can truly be appreciated by adults because it is so ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense with its puns, gags, and long running jokes but it easy to see why kids would love to read it. - KW