|Reviews for Even More Sideways Stories from Wayside School|
| MysteriouslyNotNamed.0.0 3/28/13 . chapter 1
All I can say is "Wah-hoo!"! A fanfic that includes as many canon characters as possible, in their accurate current age and accurate personality, without droning and repeating information from the original books!
One chapter, and I'm already excited for the rest! Thank you for writing and sharing!
| Fire 1/15/13 . chapter 4
| Hiest 1/15/13 . chapter 10
REVIEW WOMAN! (Dude, whatever the hell you are.)
| Nonamenonamenonameplease 8/23/12 . chapter 4
But what about Wendy? Where’s HER guilt trip? I understand her heartbreak, but there was no excuse for her ta take it out on others. What Todd’s done to those employees isn’t much different from what Wendy did to the people she met after Xavier left her. She must’ve racked up quite a secret criminal record before reaching Wayside, so who knows how many folks she could’ve driven into suicide; caused ta have fatal epileptic seizures; or what-have-you. I dare say Wendy could use her mind-reading powers to extract military and banking secrets, though I suppose it wouldn’t’ve been as subtle.
And what about the way she almost dropped Mavis out the window while setting it up to look like an accident? Okay, so she reads a baby’s thoughts, and BAM, instant redemption? That’s absurd even fer Wayside. I would think redemption involves admitting one’s own wrongs (most often out loud to others), confessing that one indeed slipped up and is imperfect, and then striving to better oneself. But no, the book just skims over it and skips to the lovey-dovey scenario. Poor Louis. For Pete’s sake, Mrs. Jewls was a lot kinder to Todd. Even Joy, Kathy, and Terrence had more humane moments. They enjoyed the newborn baby’s company same as the other kids, and Joy openly defied Mrs. Drazil’s influence on Louis by tossing his strict manual into a paint bucket.
Furthermore, I cannot fathom how exactly Wendy got away with her crimes. She makes everybody miserable and is neither punished nor discovered. Funny, ‘cause Mrs. Jewls’ class seemed like a very vigilant, cautious, and intelligent bunch. Here’s my evidence:
SSFWS Ch. 23: It’s outright stated that students are smarter than their teachers.
WSIFD Ch. 26: Inside every nice teacher is a mean one waiting to burst out. The nicer the outside, the meaner the inside. There’s no such thing as a nice teacher.
WSIFD Ch. 19, 19, and 19: The way Allison cracks Miss Zarves’ so-called system of teaching.
MSAFWS Ch. 5, WSGALS Ch. 27: The author himself claims that he tries to be fair.
WSGALS Ch. 10: Myron realizes that with no teacher around (much less the rightly feared substitute Mr. Gorf), he and his classmates are doing work for nothing.
WSGALS Ch. 11: When Mr. Gorf steals everyone else’s voices, Allison wisely awaits the right opportunity to call for help. (It fails, but still.)
WSGALS Ch. 13: It’s stated that after their experiences with Mr. and Mrs. Gorf, Mrs. Jewls’ students don’t trust teachers. Also, Deedee – unknowingly recalling what Louis told her in WSIFD Ch. 15 – wonders if she’s seen Mrs. Drazil on a certain police show.
WSGALS Ch. 25: Wendy reads Maurecia’s thoughts and learns that Maurecia tore a page in a dictionary in the classroom. She tells the girl that one should admit to one’s mistakes and that they make matters worse for themselves if they lie about it. In that same chapter, Maurecia even asks herself how Wendy could’ve known.
Get my drift? These students are observant, smart, and definitely learn from the past and apply them to new situations. They know how ta see evidence building up when something’s not kosher. Allison in particular seems like the kind of person who’d spend a portion of her free time outside school pondering her various experiences, with Myron and Deedee coming in second. And if it were the cartoon, Todd would be on that list as well.
Wendy can keep her mind-reading powers a secret all she wants, I can accept that. But I can’t accept nobody suspecting that maybe she had something to do with their newfound misery. I refuse to believe NOBODY noticed things had soured ever since SHE arrived. Furthermore, given Wendy’s record, I would think the intensity of Mavis’ happy thoughts would’ve sent the substitute away crying and into self-imposed exile. Wendy would hafta spend quite a bit of time alone in order to atone for her crimes. I theorize Mr. Sachar was in too big a hurry to finish the series, or he favored her too much i.e. she’s a creator’s pet. For your sake, Number1PixarFan, I hope Wendy’s spending time doing just that or at least something similar. Maybe the gal can get Mrs. Jewls and Joy to realize THEIR cruel and wrong-headed behaviors. (Still needs confession, though.)
(stops to catch breath) Thanks for hearing me out, Number1PixarFan. You wrote and posted this some time ago, and you have your opinions, I know. But I had ta get this outta my system. I may or may not continue reading, but I hope this helps. Can’t believe Mrs. Drazil was desperate enough ta KILL Jane. And it’s true Nancy didn’t have much characterization in the books, nor did they specify whether she and Mac were friends or lovers. Mood swings or not, and due to everyone’s lack of change, I assume she really IS the panicky type. Go figure.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read The Alumni by Gumdrop Boo. Take care. :)
| Nonamenonamenonameplease 8/23/12 . chapter 3
Even as a small child, I never understood why people think bullying innocent victims is funny and entertaining. Are people just jerks by nature? Do actions speak louder than words, or is the pen mightier than the sword? I say both are plausible and depend on the circumstances. If Todd is supposed to represent the kind of person or piece of us unfortunate enough to get cheated by destiny, the part of us that stays optimistic and persistent no matter how tough things become, then we may as well admit all the same that he’s just an unfeeling tool whose only purpose in life is to be used and abused by other people for their own sick pleasure and twisted agendas.
"Sorry? There's no need to be sorry. That reminded me that there are other people whose lives are worse than mine. Thanks!" “I had almost forgotten that you were twice as bad at drawing as I am!" (rolls eyes) Pardon me if I’m blowing things out of proportion, but I almost always considered this topic a doozy. I’m less concerned about the wacky happenings than I am about the lack of morale. If these folks wanna be hyperactive, fine. They wanna have these “strange and silly” misadventures, no objections. But when they attack someone personally, that’s where I draw the line.
In reality, a story needs conflict. In-universe, if Mrs. Jewls is supposed ta be nice, why does she keep enforcing Todd selectively? Why do she, Joy, and pretty much anyone and everyone else wanna control him? It should come as no surprise that he finally snapped; we knew it would happen eventually. Optimism and persistence in trying circumstances can only carry a person through for so long. We all have our breaking points. Can you say, “Something’s got to give”? In one episode of the cartoon, those kindergarteners were better friends to Todd than his classmates. Those tykes actively kept Mrs. Jewls from sending him home early and willingly offered themselves up against Maurecia’s punches. On the other hand – books OR cartoon – Todd’s classmates don’t even vouch fer the poor boy and gladly bash on ‘im whenever they can BECAUSE they can. Legitimate, memorable successes now and then don’t hurt; otherwise, one’s faith and hope only come off as blind.
Ungrateful is as ungrateful does. Those people also owe ‘im their lives. Yes, long before trash compactors and “glow guppies”, we had a pair of armed robbers. Somebody could’ve been seriously hurt and/or killed if Todd – not Dameon, not DJ, and definitely not Joy – did nothing. In your story, to sum it up, Todd turned out the way he did because nobody WANTS him to progress and be happy. Nobody has any intentions of letting him become a better person. So I really hafta wonder: What would happen if Todd was abruptly taken away from them? You name it: homicide, suicide, disease, or otherwise leaving the planet. Would anyone notice or care? Would his teachers and classmates feel sad, happy, or apathetic? How would they go on? How much is enough until everyone is satisfied?
Todd’s sympathetic background doesn’t excuse his wrongdoing, but you could make the same argument about Wendy. She reads baby Mavis’ thoughts; instantly becomes good; and is easily forgiven by the author, no questions asked. To say nothing of all the children and grown men SHE’S hurt in the past?
While reviewing the books, I noted an underlying theme of guilt. A character does something very wrong; realizes it deep down; and for a certain time finds themselves un-peaceful about whatever. In SSFWS, Joy steals Dameon’s lunch and an extra lollipop from Mrs. Jewls; pins the blame on Calvin, Allison, Deedee, and Jason; and is unable to enjoy those exact items for at least a year. (Not that she learns her lesson seeing how she later steals lunch from her “best friend” Maurecia.) WSGALS expands on the theme with the actions of Dr. Pickle, Jane Smith-Payne, Mrs. Drazil, Xavier, and Wendy Nogard. Dr. Pickle makes his patients do funny things and then loses his job as a psychiatrist. Mrs. Drazil and Jane are awarded an unpleasant reunion together as the former keeps grudges HER entire life while the latter cheats her way through life a la crooked dental operations. Xavier badmouths Wendy’s third ear, goes on to break other women’s hearts, and never finds true happiness. That much is true.
| Nonamenonamenonameplease 8/23/12 . chapter 2
No offense, Number1PixarFan, but I’m afraid your story as a result lacks substance and development. It kinda reminds me of how TV producers exaggerate distant finales in their (usually animated) shows with the characters and situations virtually unchanged, as if implying the former are incapable of growing and progressing beyond how and what they seem to be. One thing I’ve learned from years of watching anime is that such a use of one’s creativity is both wasteful and lazy. Again, no offense.
I mean, think about it: John and Dana realizing their feelings for each other, with the former actually making the latter feel beautiful despite their past; Paul realizing he’s loving Leslie for all the wrong reasons; Sharie finding her calling as a hobo (and no doubt more than just a hobo, if Bob knows how to get by on mulligan stew and whatnot); Jason and Allison dating; etc. Did it really take them until their early 30s to realize these things? To say nothing of their high school years? And yes, I already know the two arithmetic books have debatable canonicity, but we learn more than how ta think our way around complex word problems and do word-based arithmetic. We learn information about the character that Mr. Sachar wasn’t able to include in the main trilogy. First, it’s more or less confirmed that Allison does secretly return Jason’s feelings: She likes having him chase her, and he’s one of only two boys – the other being Stephen – whom she initially invites to her birthday party. Second, we learn Miss Mush AND her assistant Mr. Pepperadder aren’t hacks but merely under-qualified in that they’re only good at cooking for no more than 100 people at a time. Third, Mrs. Jewls symbolically destroys a double standard by calling both boys AND girls silly without even trying. So if something as minor as baloneos could cross over, why not THESE things?
I figured Wayside must’ve been some kind of bohemian private school akin to the occasional college if these kids had Mrs. Jewls as their teacher and the same classroom for at least three or four consecutive years (not counting the incident with the cows). Opponents might think of it as some kind of dumping grounds for people who are failures in dominant society. Casual observers might think of it as the kind of place to go when one simply doesn’t fit in anywhere else. From what I gather, a class changes teachers and classrooms for the first few years; get situated for the remainder of elementary school…or maybe they’re appointed teachers for the entire schooling term…perhaps certain items are kept handy for the next permanent batches, stuff gets rearranged…yeah. I’ll leave it at that. But high school, too? Whatever the deal, if the former students are just now realizing these things, then that’s one of the worst cases of arrested development I’ve ever seen.
Now let’s talk specifically about Wayside as a medium. I too think it’s one of THE most delightful things I ever sampled in my life, otherwise I’d only be here out of boredom. But I have two major beefs with it: the abuse Todd endures, and the mere existence of Wendy Nogard.
For the record, Mavis’ juvenile behavior is the least of my worries, so I don’t have to apologize to Mrs. Jewls for anything. This is especially true given what the teacher did to Todd practically his whole life. Let’s talk about him first, shall we? Do you realize what exactly you wrote in Chapter 10? Lemme reiterate:
“Todd thought Mrs. Jewels was an excellent teacher. Mrs. Jewels would tell you that Todd was an excellent student. He used to be a great person. But something in the getting sent home early every day soured him up a bit…unjustly punished…payback for the time he had stopped two bank robbers and still got sent home…As Todd sulked on the hard concrete floor, he wondered what happened to his life. His old classmates were the same happy people they had been in elementary school. But why had he, the genius in disguise, of all people, taken a turn for the worse?”
Some say life is unfair, I say move forward and that there’s always a choice and a chance. Sugarcoating aside, of course. Yes, what Todd did to all those employees was by no means the answer to his problems. Also, I know good things happening to people aren’t nearly as funny as bad things, something I’ve found myself agreeing on in certain cases. Touché. But in my years, I’ve also realized that there’s a difference between making others laugh and attacking people personally. How does one describe this difference? They can’t. It’s just something that’s built inside of us; we automatically know it’s wrong without fail.
| Nonamenonamenonameplease 8/23/12 . chapter 1
Wayside School. A series of books chronicling the adventures and misadventures of folks populating one of the strangest schools in existence. The focus of these books: a class taught by a woman known as Mrs. Jewls. The school itself was built on its side: 30 stories each containing one classroom (though no 19th story) instead of one story containing 30 classrooms. As a result, it attracts some very off-beat characters and incidents for some reason.
The first book, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, was basic as the first in any series goes. We get a series of one-shot stories per chapter revolving around one character each. The second book, Wayside School Is Falling Down, took things a little bit farther by introducing a new character named Benjamin Nushmutt; gave us at least two storylines diffused amongst more one-shots; and ended on a cliffhanger. The final installment in the trilogy, Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, picked up where the previous book left off; cut back on one-shots; and was composed almost entirely of more-or-less continuous story arcs overshadowed by one main storyline. We also got a couple of math books released between WSIFD and WSGALS, full of difficult yet creative and enjoyable puzzles and whose canonicity amongst the main trilogy is debatable.
I never grew up on these books as a kid; the most attention I ever paid them was the occasional glance across the second book’s front cover page. When Nelvana gave the books their own cartoon series, THAT certainly grabbed my attention. Long story short, I thought little of the cartoon at first and so got off to a bad start with it, but it grew on me over time. Yes, I’ve heard it all before: The cartoon underplays the books. Nevertheless, I still believe the former has much potential that it could release if given a nudge in the right direction. I wouldn’t mind taking over production myself…if only I’d overcome my procrastination and learn how to properly write stories. *sigh* Well, anyway, if I could describe Wayside in one word for better or worse, it’d be exaggeration. (Side note: Around 4,000 students, and no two get sent to the same school? Either they traveled VERY far, or the author was just exaggerating. Some of them could’ve shared schools and even classes but just ignored each other since it wouldn’t be the same without everyone together.)
In MY mind, anyway, Wayside has or will have a parallel history with the show Beast Wars: Transformers. My experiences with Wayside echo those of Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio towards the overall Transformers franchise. Like them and the people who adapted Louis Sachar’s brainchild, and even after watching it, I knew nothing about the Wayside School books outside of skimming book covers. Eventually I DID find my opportunity to read and review the books. As you may guess, I too found much left out if not wasted by the show. Incorporating classic book elements is just one of the many things I’D do if I were in charge. But, listen to me go on and get boring. :P
Tell me, Number1PixarFan, have you ever heard of a third rail issue? It’s something that everybody can and should notice but that nobody wants to deal with. In politics, they call it the third rail issue after the third railway in a subway or light rail system held at high voltage to power the trains running on it and would be deadly to physically touch. Such an issue inspires in the electorate feelings of both heaviness and confusion; may contain a solution that won’t satisfy everybody; and so ends up ignored. You may already know that this type of issue is more commonly called the elephant in the living room, or just simply called the obvious.
The third rail issue in writing is used to stir up laughter or sadness. With the latter (and speaking from experience), I too believe it’s justifiable in that some issues are easier to handle than others. If not yours, then this is certainly within MY power. Your story takes place when the students we all knew and loved reached their early 30s. You skipped everything in between (high school, much?) and went straight to their adult lives. Ergo, we can assume multiple possibilities in any direction. And I can safely assume that change for the better would’ve done these people a world of wonders.
| Blazestar of Shadowclan 8/2/12 . chapter 10
Yeah, I agree with Todd- Ms Jewls is a BITCH! Great story, update soon, etc!
| kemi1231 4/22/12 . chapter 10
this story story is very interesting. you should write more for this.
| 1238904756 4/16/12 . chapter 5
I haven't read the Wayside School books in a LONG time, but I am enjoying your work with the characters thus far. Keep up the good work!
| SafetyScissors 10/30/11 . chapter 2
I love this!
| thecompletebookworm 10/1/11 . chapter 10
This is amazing. I love your characters. They each have their little quirks from the books but you've added a bit of depth to their personalities. Back in 3rd grade, when my teacher read Sideways stories from Wayside School, I was laughing hysterically. Your story brings back all those memories and gives me the same reaction. Thanks so much!
| JeanetteMiller101 8/25/11 . chapter 10
I love Wayside! Jallison and Jana are my two favorite couples. I can't believe there are only two stories in the wayside category! Keep writing!
| avatarluv97 8/18/11 . chapter 10
I really love wayside and you did a really good job with the characters. I can't wait to read more
| Aku Okami Knows All 7/3/11 . chapter 10
I really love the pairings in this, and how you managed to maintain the orginal characters additudes and the authors style while making everything seem new.
And GAH poor Todd! xD I always imagined he go crazy and become a serial killer.
And LOL Sharie's a hobo now.