Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

HarperCollins. (Wayside School: Bk. 4). Mar. 2020. 192p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062965387.
Gr 3-5–A delightful case of well-written nonsense. Mrs. Jewls’s class is back and as wacky as ever. Whether collecting a million toenails or dealing with ‘oppositosis,’ it’s safe to say that nothing is ever normal at Wayside School. Yet when a cloud of doom looms over its walls, things get even stranger. Even the elusive Miss Zarves makes an appearance! After 40 years, Wayside School is still a delight. It still tickles the funny bone with the most ridiculous scenarios. As expected, the characters do lack depth; their only growth is shown through silly antics. Yet parents and librarians will be overjoyed to have their favorite class back. The real question is: Has Wayside stood the test of time? In an age of Dan Gutman’s “My Weird School” series, where the text is more excitable and fast-paced, children may not be so enamored by the classic series.
VERDICT Parents and librarians will be filled with nostalgia. Recommended for young fiction collections seeking silly school stories.

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