Study Guide

Sideways Stories From Wayside School What's Up With the Ending?

By Louis Sachar

What's Up With the Ending?

In a book without a traditional plot, we can't really expect a traditional ending, but Sideways Stories manages to come full circle and pull together its cast of characters for a farewell bow and curtain call. The ending of the book is Louis' chapter, where he reveals that he's the author of the book. He comes to the classroom on the thirtieth floor to tell the kids stories about the kinds of schools we all go to, much to the horror of the kids at Wayside.

Way back in the book's introduction, narrator Louis says to the reader, "When I told stories about you to the children at Wayside, they thought you were strange and silly" (I.6), and at the end we get to watch him tell these exact stories. In fact, he echoes the very same words from the introduction when talking with the Wayside kids: "When I told them stories about you, they thought that you were strange and silly" (30.24). And of course, Louis is right—the students on the thirtieth floor can hardly believe it.

This final chapter makes us realize how well we've gotten to know this big group of twenty-eight kids and all the rest of the Wayside crew. Each student in class has at least one line in this chapter, helping the reader remember each of their stories in turn.

Because everything at Wayside is, of course, the opposite of ordinary life, the book doesn't end with a round of applause for Louis' wonderful stories. Instead the entire class boos him out of the room, which in the Wayside universe might actually be the perfect ending.