Those who have read the first book in the Wayside School series will remember that Wayside School is highly unusual institution. To begin with, the building has thirty stories, one for each class. And although there are thirty stories, there is no nineteen story, as Louis Sachar consistently reminds his readers.
The Wayside School series focuses on the experience of the children in Mrs. Jewls class, the class at the very top of Wayside School, on the thirtieth story. The book is chock full of humor that is obvious satire. For example, when Mrs. Jewls' class receives a brand new computer with “a full-color monitor and two disk drives” Mrs Jewls uses it to teach the class about gravity – by dropping the computer out of the window. “Thank you...” says Mrs. Jewels, “I've been trying to teach them about gravity all morning. We had been using pencils and pieces of paper, but the computer was a lot quicker.”
Throughout “Wayside School is Falling Down” the students will experience strange adventures and even stranger characters. Back in elementary school I enjoyed reading “Wayside School is Falling Down” because it humorous, but now, reading it again from a point of view over a decade later, I see more meaning in Louis Sachar's writing. Beneath the seemingly shallow storyline is a much deeper philosophical message about the the institutions and traditions that we tend to take for granted.
I would definitely recommend “Wayside School is Falling Down” to any young reader.
Inkweaver Book Rating: