Study Guide

Sideways Stories From Wayside School Foolishness and Folly

By Louis Sachar

Foolishness and Folly

If there's one rule at Wayside School, it's that silliness is the order of the day. Although the kids take school seriously, their school doesn't always take them seriously, so as Sideways Stories goes along, we see students asked to do all sorts of ridiculous thingsā€”from delivering notes to a teacher who doesn't exist to selling their toes at a discount. It's safe to say that when a new teacher mistakes her classroom of children for a group of monkeys, foolishness is going to be a major part of the story.

Questions About Foolishness and Folly

  1. Sometimes the kids at Wayside act foolish, and sometimes it's the teachers who are ridiculous. Who do you think is more foolish overall, the kids or the adults?
  2. How does Sachar use foolish or silly situations at Wayside to poke fun of everyday, real life situations?
  3. Which is more foolish: coming to school on a Saturday, or trying to sell your toes?
  4. With all of the foolishness in this book, do you think Sachar is trying to make elementary school seem more fun? Does his strategy work?

Chew on This

Even though she can seem like a really foolish person, Mrs. Jewls is actually a very wise teacher.

All the silliness at Wayside School has a purpose: it helps the kids learn.