Wayside school gets a li.., p.1
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       Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, p.1
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         Part #3 of Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
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Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger


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  To Carla and Sherre, with love

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  .

  Contents

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  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  About Louis Sachar

  Imprint

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  Chapter 1

  Explanation

  For two hundred and forty-three days, a lonely sign hung on the front of the old school building.

  On some days a child would come, look at the sign, then sadly walk away.

  Or else a child would come, look at the sign, stand on her head, then sadly walk away.

  Louis watched them come and go.

  But he never said “Hi!” to them. He hid when they came.

  It was his job to repair the school.

  Louis used to be the yard teacher at Wayside School. He passed out the balls and played with the kids at recess and lunch.

  When the school closed, the children were sent to other schools. Horrible schools. No two kids were sent to the same school.

  Louis was afraid he’d cry if he talked to them.

  But he worked hard. For two hundred and forty-two days, he pushed and pulled, shoveled and mopped. He never left the building. At night he slept on the couch in the teachers’ lounge on the twelfth floor.

  Some days it seemed hopeless. The worst part was the smell. He often had to run and stick his head out a window to get a breath of fresh air. But whenever he felt like quitting, he thought about those poor kids, stuck in those horrible schools, and he just worked harder.

  And at last, two hundred and forty-three days later, the school was ready to open.

  Well, almost ready. There was one little problem.

  Suddenly, from somewhere inside the building, or maybe just inside his head, Louis heard a loud “moo.”

  gHe put his hands over his ears and said, “I don’t hear it, I don’t hear it, I don’t hear it,” until the mooing stopped.

  He had scrubbed and polished every inch of Wayside School. There were no cows anywhere. He was sure of it! Still, every once in a while, he heard something go “moo.” Or at least he thought he did.

  He took the sign off the door.

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  But before you enter, you should know something about Wayside School.

  Wayside School is a thirty-story building with one room on each floor, except there is no nineteenth story.

  Mrs. Jewls teaches the class on the thirtieth story.

  Miss Zarves teaches the class on the nineteenth story. There is no Miss Zarves.

  Understand?

  Good; explain it to me.

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  “Louis!” someone shouted.

  He turned to see a red and blue overcoat running toward him. “Hi, Sharie!” he said. He couldn’t see her face, but he knew she had to be somewhere inside the coat.

  Sharie jumped into his arms.

  “I bet you’re glad to be back,” said Louis.

  “You bet!” said Sharie. “Now I can finally get some sleep!”

  All around the playground, old friends were getting back together.

  “Hi, old pal!” said John.

  “Hey, good buddy,” said Joe.

  “Bebe!” yelled Calvin from one side of the playground.

  “Calvin!” shouted Bebe from the other.

  They ran and smashed into each other.

  “Hi, Eric, good to see you,” said Eric.

  “Hey, good to see you too,” said Eric. “Oh, look. There’s Eric!”

  “Hi, Eric! Hi, Eric!”

  “Hi, Eric.”

  “Hi, Eric.”

  Even Kathy said hello to everybody.

  “Hey, Big Ears!” she said to Myron as she slapped him on the back. “What’s happ’nin’, Smelly?” she asked Dameon. “You didn’t take a bath for two hundred and forty-three days, did you? Hi, Allison. Did you get uglier while you were away, or were you always this ugly and I just forgot?”

  “That’s a nice sweater, Kathy,” said Allison, who always tried to say something nice.

  Kathy moved on to Terrence. “I’m sure glad to see you, Terrence!” she said.

  “You are?” asked Terrence.

  “Yes,” said Kathy. “I thought you’d be in jail by now.”

  Todd came running across the playground.

  “Hi, Todd!” shouted Sharie, right in Louis’s ear.

  Todd kept running.

  “Hey, Todd!” called Jason. “Good to see you!”

  “Hi, Todd!” called Myron and D.J.

  But Todd didn’t answer. He just kept running until he reached the school building.

  Then he kissed Wayside School.

  Out of all the schools, Todd had been sent to the very worst one. It was awful! The first thing he had to do every morning was—

  Wait a second. I don’t have to tell you. You already know.

  Todd was sent to your school.

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  Chapter 2

  A Message from the Principal

  Dameon hurried up the stairs. He couldn’t wait to see Mrs. Jewls, his favorite teacher in the whole world.

  But the thirtieth floor was a lot higher up than he remembered, even if there was no nineteenth.

  By the time he got up there, his legs hurt, his side ached, and he had a blister on the back of his ankle where it rubbed against his sneaker.

  He stumbled into the room and collapsed on the floor. “Hi, Mrs. Jewls,” he gasped.

  “Hi, Dameon, welcome back!” said Mrs. Jewls.

  Dameon looked up at her. Something seemed different about her, but he wasn’t sure what it was.

  “Oh, Dameon, would you do me a favor?” she asked.

  “Sure,” said Dameon.

  “I left my pencil in the office,” said Mrs. Jewls. “Would you mind going down and getting it for me?”

  “No problem,” said Dameon.

  “It’s yellow,” said Mrs. Jewls. “It has a point at one end and a red eraser at the other.”

  Dameon got to his feet and headed down the stairs.

  One by one the other children staggered into the classroom, huffing and puffing. They were all out of shape.

  Still, they were very excited to be back in Mrs. Jewls’s class. Shouts of joy could be heard from every corner of the room.

  Mrs. Jewls held up two fingers.

  All the children became quiet. Joy stopped shouting.

  Mrs. Jewls told the children to sit a
t their old desks. “So, did anyone learn anything at your other schools?” she asked.

  Mac raised his hand. “Oooh! Oooh!” he grunted.

  “Yes, Mac,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  “Civilization!” declared Mac.

  “What about civilization?” asked Mrs. Jewls.

  “We learned it,” said Mac.

  “That’s very impressive,” said Mrs. Jewls. “Would you like to tell the class something about civilization?”

  Mac thought a moment. “I don’t remember,” he said. “But I know we learned it.”

  “That’s good, Mac,” said Mrs. Jewls. “Anyone else learn anything?”

  Rondi raised her hand. “Evaporation,” she said.

  “Good,” said Mrs. Jewls. “What is evaporation?”

  “I don’t know,” said Rondi.

  Dana raised her hand. “I learned about exaggeration,” she said. “It was all my teacher ever talked about. We had like ten thousand tests on it, and the teacher would kill you if you didn’t spell it right.”

  “That’s very good, Dana!” said Mrs. Jewls. “You learned your lesson well.”

  “I did?” asked Dana.

  Mrs. Jewls shrugged. “Well, I guess we’ll just continue where we left off.”

  Just then Mr. Kidswatter’s voice came over the P.A. system. “Good morning, boys and girls.”

  Mr. Kidswatter was the principal. He paused a moment because he thought every kid in school was saying “Good morning, Mr. Kidswatter” back to him.

  Nobody said it.

  Sharie buried her head in her huge coat, closed her eyes, and went to sleep.

  “Welcome back to Wayside School!” said Mr. Kidswatter. “I know I’m sure glad to be back. It was wonderful to see all your bright and chipper faces this morning. I missed every single one of you.

  “And welcome back to Miss Mush, too. Today’s lunch menu will be baked liver in purple sauce. Miss Mush actually cooked this before the school was closed, but she assures me it is still as tasty as ever!”

  “I’m sure it is,” said Myron.

  “A safety reminder. Now, it has been a while since you’ve had to rush up and down the stairs, and I want to make sure there are no accidents. So remember this simple rule. When you go up the stairs, stay to your right. When you go down the stairs, stay to your left. That way, there should be no problems.

  “Okay, let’s all have a good day. And remember, I’m your friend. And you’re my friends. And if you ever need a friend, you can always come to me.”

  “Isn’t that nice,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  “What a bunch of baloney! There I was, lying on a beach in Jamaica, when suddenly I get a fax that the dumb school was back open. Well, those kids better not bother me. My friends? That’s a joke! Like I would really want to be friends with those little snot-nose — What? Don’t tell me to shut up! You shut up! What’s on? You mean they’re hearing what I’m saying right this very second? Well, how do you turn it off? What button? I don’t see a red button. There is no red button. Oh, here it

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  Chapter 3

  Poetry

  Mrs. Jewls told everyone to pick a color and write a poem about it.

  “Huh?” said Joy.

  “For example,” said Mrs. Jewls, “if brown was your favorite color, you might write: ‘At the circus I saw a clown. On his face was a great big frown. His sad eyes were big and brown.’ ”

  “Could you repeat that just a little bit slower?” asked Joy.

  Mrs. Jewls repeated it for her.

  “Ooh, I’m going to do purple!” said Rondi. Rondi loved anything purple.

  “You can’t do purple,” said Allison. “I’m doing it.”

  “So?” said Rondi. “Mrs. Jewls didn’t say two people couldn’t do the same color.”

  “But purple is my favorite color in the world,” said Allison.

  Rondi and Allison were best friends, but Allison always got her way.

  Rondi switched to blue.

  Joe raised his hand. “I don’t know what rhymes with red,” he said.

  Mrs. Jewls gave him a few suggestions. “Bed, led, wed. Think of words that end in ‘e-d.’ ”

  “Oh, I get it!” said Joe. He set to work.

  Rondi tried to think of words that rhymed with blue. She raised her hand. “Mrs. Jewls!” she said. “I chose blue. Can I rhyme that with zoo?”

  “Yes, that would be a good rhyme,” agreed Mrs. Jewls.

  “How about glue?” asked Rondi.

  “Yes, that rhymes too,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  “Oh, I know!” said Rondi. “How about stew?”

  “Just pick one and get started,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  Rondi smiled. “This is fun,” she told Allison. “There are lots of words that rhyme with blue.”

  Allison grunted.

  Nothing rhymed with purple. In her mind, Allison had gone through every letter of the alphabet: aurple, burple, curple, durple … all the way to zurple.

  But after making a big stink over it with Rondi, she couldn’t switch colors now.

  Rondi was just about to start her poem when she got an even better idea: Love That’s True. “Poets are always writing about Love That’s True, aren’t they, Mrs. Jewls?”

  “Sometimes,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  Rondi smiled. Except she really didn’t know much about true love.

  “Morning dew!” she said. “Poets write about morning dew too, don’t they, Mrs. Jewls?”

  “I believe so,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  Dana walked to Mrs. Jewls’s desk. “I can’t think of anything that rhymes with pink,” she complained.

  “I’m sure you’ll think of something,” said Mrs. Jewls. She winked at her.

  “I can’t think,” said Dana. “My mind’s on the blink. I’m no good at poetry. I stink!”

  “Just keep trying,” said Mrs. Jewls.

  Dana returned to her seat. She started to put her name on her paper, but her pen wouldn’t write. “Great!” she complained. “Now my pen’s out of ink!”

  “Hey, Dana,” whispered John. “Do you want to borrow my pen?”

  “Sure,” said Dana.

  “Too bad, I’m using it,” said John. Then he and Joe cracked up.

  Meanwhile, Allison was going through the alphabet for the tenth time. … Murple, nurple, ourple, qurple, … she thought.

  “My left shoe!” exclaimed Rondi.

  “You better choose something, Rondi, and get started,” advised Mrs. Jewls.

  “I got it!” said Rondi. “A Bird That Flew!”

  At the end of the day, the children turned in their poems.

  Yellow by Kathy

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  I don’t feel too well, oh

  I don’t know who to tell, oh

  I’m sick and I smell, oh

  My barf is yellow

  Brown by Joy

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  At the circus I saw a clown.

  On his face was a great big frown.

  His sad eyes were big and brown.

  Green by Stephen

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  The swimming pool has lots of chlorine.

  It turned my hair green.

  Red by Joe

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  The fire truck is red!

  It hurried!

  The siren wailed!

  The house burned!

  The firemen saved

  The baby who screamed.

  Pink by Dana

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  My favorite color is pink.

  John is a ratfink!

  Purple by Allison

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  The baby wo
n’t stop crying.

  His face is turning purple.

  Will anything make him feel better?

  I bet a burp’ll.

  Blue by Rondi

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  That was as far as she got.

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  Chapter 4

  Doctor pickle

  Actually his name was Doctor Pickell, with the accent on the second syllable. But that wasn’t why everyone called him Dr. Pickle.

  Dr. Pickle was a psychiatrist. He had thick eyebrows and wore tiny glasses. He had a small beard on the tip of his pointed chin.

  A psychiatrist is a doctor who doesn’t cure people with sick bodies. He cures people with sick minds.

  Although Dr. Pickle had a pretty sick mind himself.

  One day a woman came into his office. She smoked too much, and she wanted him to help her quit.

  “I know that smoking is no good for me,” she said as she puffed on her cigarette. “It’s bad for my heart. It fills my lungs with gunk. And my husband won’t kiss me because my breath stinks. But I can’t quit!”

  She finished her cigarette, smushed it out in an ashtray, then immediately lit another one.

  “Have a seat,” said Dr. Pickle.

  She sat down on the couch.

  “Look into my eyes,” said Dr. Pickle.

  The woman stared into his deep, penetrating eyes.

  Dr. Pickle held up a gold chain. At the end of the chain was a green stone that was almost transparent, but not quite. It looked like a pickle.

  Hence, his name.

  “Watch the pickle,” he said, as he gently moved the chain.

  The pickle went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

  The woman’s eyes went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

  “Put down your cigarette,” Dr. Pickle said in a strong but gentle voice.

  The woman set her cigarette in the ashtray as she continued to stare at the pickle.

  “You are getting sleepy,” said Dr. Pickle. “Your eyelids are getting heavy.”

  The woman blinked her eyes.

  “When I count to three,” said Dr. Pickle, “you will fall into a deep, deep sleep. One … two … three.”

 
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