Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Club: Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Sideways Stories from Wayside SchoolToday was the March meeting of my book discussion group for 9-12 year olds.

The month, the kids read Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. I chose it because it's a childhood favorite of mine and really funny. I also thought my kids would appreciate the short chapters (and they did!)

We didn't have any special tie-in for the snack. Instead, there were some delicious looking strawberries on sale at the grocery store this morning so I had those and some cheese popcorn. Only afterwards did I realize that we should have had apples!

Here were the discussion questions:
Did you like the book?

What was your favorite part? (this question ate up most of conversation, as most of them had many favorite parts!)

Mrs. Gorf turned naughty students into apples. Mrs. Jewls wrote their name on the board and then sent them home early on the kindergarten bus. Which punishment would be most likely to make you behave?

Mrs. Jewls makes an ice cream flavor for every kid in the class. If you were an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be?

There were 3 Erics and each Eric had a different nickname, but their nicknames were the OPPOSITE of what they were really like! What would your opposite name be?

This book has been around for awhile, so there are many different editions (brief diversion to explain what that means). Because of this, there are a few different covers. Which cover is the best?

In one of the chapters, Bebe is the "fastest draw" in the class. It takes her 45 seconds to draw a dog, 30 to draw a cat, and 8 to draw a flower. So, I gave everyone 3 sheets of paper and timed them at 45 seconds while they drew a dog, 30 while they did a cat, and 8 for a flower. After each round, we showed each other what they had done in the time limit. It was really fun with a lot of giggles.

There are 2 meetings left before we take our summer break. For April, we're reading NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley.


  1. Cool, I haven't met many other librarians with a middle grade book club. Ours is Reading in the Middle for ages 9-13, and we lean towards the older end of that spectrum. We just read a bunch of different books from the Scientists in the Field series for March and we're currently reading Spellbinder by Helen Stringer for April.

  2. I'm doing a bunch of Scientists in the Field for May!!! I love that series!

    Ours is called CRABS (Children Raving About Books) and before our branch closed for a few years for a remodel, it was almost 50 years old.

  3. You are a lifesaver!! My next GATE bookclub book is Lunchbox and the Aliens. Do you have any discussion questions or other ideas for this book? Thank you for your awesome blog:)