Schools are strange and busy places with lots of different people and viewpoints. Wayside School is fully of silliness, but its stories reveal concerns that most American school students will relate to.
This quirky chapter book from the author of Holes might be better used as a read-aloud than an independent book for students, for at least the first time through. Each chapter focuses on a different student or adult at Wayside school, and the stories and characters are odd. (If you think Squids Will Be Squids by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, but with chapters and set in school, you're on the right track.) Some students adore this book; others just don't get it. The sequels and sales numbers show that this book definitely has had a fan base since its publication almost four decades ago.
Chapter 19: Miss Zarves
There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry." p. 81
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
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