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Book Club Kits: Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

Wayside School was supposed to be built with 30 classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, the classrooms were stacked one on top of the other — 30 stories tall! Here are some hilarious and fun stories about the school, the teachers, and the students.

You'll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all, terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early, and John who can read only upside down — along with all the other kids in the crazy mix-up school that came out sideways. But you'll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid...or what's in store for Wayside School on Halloween! (From

Discussion Questions

  1. Which student was your favorite? Why?
  2. Would you like to go to school at Wayside School? Why or why not?
  3. Would an ice cream flavor based on a person be a good idea? Why or why not? What ice cream flavor would you be? Why?
  4. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Why?
  5. Do you think Myron was a good class president? What would you expect a class president to do?
  6. Todd tells the robbers that “Knowledge is much more valuable than money” Do you agree with him? Why?
  7. Mrs. Jewls tells Bebe and Calvin that art is judged by the quality of the art, not the quantity of the art. Is Mrs. Jewls right or are Calvin and Bebe right?
  8. How would you describe this book to a friend?
  9. What would you do if you went to your class and no one was there?
  10. What makes a good teacher? What makes a bad teacher? Why?

About the Author

Louis Sachar was born on March 20, 1954, in East Meadow, New York. In 1976, he went to the University of California, where he studied economics. While at university he became a teacher’s aide to gain extra credit; it turned out to be his favorite class and inspired him to write children's books. After graduation he worked in a sweater warehouse in Connecticut and wrote at night. After he was fired from that job he moved on to law school. In his first week of study, Sideways Stories from Wayside was published. After completing his studies in 1980 he became a part-time lawyer but was compelled to concentrate on his writing full-time.

Louis now lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes and plays quite a lot of bridge. His novel Holes has sold over 8 million copies worldwide and has been made into a major motion picture of the same name by Disney. Louis is the recipient of many of the world's most prestigious book prizes, including the National Book Award and the Newbery Award.