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10+ Books to Try if You Liked Sideways Stories from Wayside School


When I was growing up, my sisters LOVED the Sideways Stories from Wayside School series by Louis Sachar.

I have to admit that, for my part, I always found them just a little too wacky for my tastes (was I basically an 8 year old grandma? Yes).

Then, a few decades later, my children discovered this series and listened to them literally non-stop for years.

And all that listening warmed me to the world of Wayside School.

Are they still very strange? Absolutely.

But I finally came to see why kids love them so much!

If you have a child who loves Wayside School, try these books and series too!

sideways stories from wayside school

10+ Books to Try If You Liked Sideways Stories from Wayside School

the chocolate touchThe Chocolate Touch by Patrick Scene Catling
I read this when I was little and I still remember it so clearly – the idea of everything you touched turning into chocolate is so exciting. This is a fun, fast paced book that’s a perfect read aloud or solo read for middle grade readers.


frindleFrindle by Andrew Clements
Andrew Clements is just a master of the school story, and this is his most popular one, about a boy who wants to get his whole school calling pens “frindles.” Andrew Clements is just a MASTER of the short middle grade novel.


pippi longstockings bookPippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
This was the series that hooked Star on audiobooks when she was 4. We also listened to the audiobook as a whole family and we were completely absorbed. It’s so wacky and strange but it’s a classic for a reason.


Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key bookJoey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Joey Pigza’s life is spiraling out of control. He is not only dealing with his ADHD, but also dealing with the way others react to it. This touching series is written from Joey’s perspective and blends heartfelt with a little dose of humor.


The Terrible TwoThe Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
This is hands-down the most listened to series in our home. We have all four books in the series and I’m pretty sure every one of my kids could recite them from memory. When Miles moves to Yawnee Valley, he is not happy. He’s leaving behind the ocean, best friends, and his reputation as a fantastic prankster. Even worse, his boring new town has only two things – cows and a prankster of its own. You know an epic prank war is the only way through.

fortunately, the milkFortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
This odd and hilarious book is a quick read and one that everyone in the family will love (don’t skip the audio version – it’s read by the author, only an hour long, and laugh-out-loud funny.. A father is abducted by aliens while picking up milk for his children’s cereal and when he returns, he tells his children about the wild adventures through time and space he had on his little errand.

There's a boy in the girls bathroomThere’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Another great one by Sachar, and I. . . may have gotten a little teary in the car while listening to this one about a misunderstood boy who learns to believe in himself. 


the first cat in space ate pizzaThe First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett
This hilarious graphic novel series would be great for readers who also love Dav Pilkey. When evil rats start eating the moon, it’s up to a cat, a stowaway robot, and the moon Queen to embark on a quest to save the moon from being devoured. 

Once upon a TimOnce Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs
This is not your average fairy tale! Even though Tim comes from a long line of peasants, he wants to break the mold and try out to be a knight. When Tim is chosen to set off on a mission to save the princess, his best friend Belinda disguises herself as a boy, and both of them run into plenty of mishaps along the way. 

The Fabled fourth gradersThe Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming
Candice Fleming is generally known for many of her nonfiction novels (which I truly love!), but this punny book about a rambunctious fourth-grade class is one of her fictional must-reads. Each chapter follows a different student in the class, each a retelling of one of the Aesop’s fables. 

Classroom 13The Classroom 13 series by Honest Lee and Matthew J. Gilbert
In this funny story, with short, easy-to-read chapters, each chapter follows a different student (and even the teacher) to tell what they would each do with their winnings if they won the lottery.  

13-story treehouse bookThe 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
If your child lives for slapstick, this graphic novel series is for them. Andy and Terry live in a treehouse with thirteen stories. It also has a swimming pool and a bowling alley and it keeps getting bigger and better as the duo add more stories. Chocolate waterfall, anyone?

And if you’d like a printable copy of this list of books like Wayside School that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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One Comment

  1. I’ve read Frindle 3 times, once to myself, once to my older son when he was 8ish, and then again to both my boys when the younger one started school. And every. single. time. the ending made me cry. Such a great book.

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