MIDDLE GRADE HUMOROUS FICTION (also Speculative) : Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar


For the first time in twenty-five years, Wayside School is back in session in this brand-new, fourth installment in the perennially beloved and bestselling series by Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar.

Welcome back to Wayside School!

Your favorite students and teachers are all here. That includes Sharie, who loves her striped-and-spotted umbrella more than anything; Kathy, who has a bad case of oppositosis; Jason, who has to read the longest book in the world; and the rest of Mrs. Jewls’s class on the thirtieth floor, who are busily collecting toenail clippings.

Everyone is scrambling to prepare for the all-important Ultimate Test, but meanwhile, there is a mysterious Cloud of Doom looming above them…


I found it delightful to return to the craziness that is Wayside School.  Mrs. Jewls returns with her ultimate tests and her closet that isn't there.  Mr. Kidswatter who wants to be a great principal but doesn't know how.  And who is Miss Zarves with her long pinky fingernail?  Students also stand out with their variety of problems and talents.  Kathy who can't help but state the opposite of whatever anyone says.  Jason, who picks a 999-page book that nobody thinks he can read.  and Sharie and her umbrella all have their place at Wayside School.  But the arrival of the Cloud of Doom takes things even farther into the realm of the weird and wacky and threatens to wreak havoc on everyone and everything.  The book feels like a book of short stories, but some of the stories end later on in further chapters.  There is an underlying theme related to the Cloud of Doom and the chaos it causes.  For readers who enjoy Dan Gutman's My Weird School series, Wayside School works perfectly.  The book provides plenty of humor as well as unexpectedly strange twists and turns.  I found myself laughing out loud numerous times.  Recommended.


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