WAYSIDE SCHOOL GETS A LITTLE STRANGER

From the Wayside School series , Vol. 3

Wayside School (Wayside School Is Falling Down, 1989, etc.) reopens after having been closed for repairs; the children have been going to horrible schools, and can't wait to come back. But when their beloved Mrs. Jewls goes on maternity leave, their first substitute is the son of the evil Mrs. Gorf, bent on revenge. With the help of Miss Mush, they get rid of him, but the next teacher is even worse. Mrs. Drazil so terrifies Louis, the yard teacher (who was her student 15 years ago), that he becomes a strict Professional Playground Supervisor. The students plot magnificently to rid themselves of this latest scourge. Schick's animated b&w drawings provide their own punch at the chapter openings. Sachar proves once again that he is a master of all things childish. As with its predecessors, this book is filled with the hilarity children love; as in Roald Dahl's tales, the humor is often anarchic, and sometimes in questionable taste, which will make the story a hit with early and middle grade readers. Easy vocabulary, short chapters, and wicked pace make the book perfect for reluctant readers, but Sachar's well-written, sophisticated comedy will appeal to everyone. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: April 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-688-13694-X

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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DONAVAN'S WORD JAR

Donavan's friends collect buttons and marbles, but he collects words. ``NUTRITION,'' ``BALLYHOO,'' ``ABRACADABRA''—these and other words are safely stored on slips of paper in a jar. As it fills, Donavan sees a storage problem developing and, after soliciting advice from his teacher and family, solves it himself: Visiting his grandma at a senior citizens' apartment house, he settles a tenants' argument by pulling the word ``COMPROMISE'' from his jar and, feeling ``as if the sun had come out inside him,'' discovers the satisfaction of giving his words away. Appealingly detailed b&w illustrations depict Donavan and his grandma as African-Americans. This Baltimore librarian's first book is sure to whet readers' appetites for words, and may even start them on their own savory collections. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: June 30, 1994

ISBN: 0-06-020190-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1994

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