Study Guide

Sideways Stories From Wayside School Friendship

By Louis Sachar


Nothing can be simpler—or more complicated—than alliances between elementary school kids. In Sideways Stories, Louis Sachar seems to intuitively understand how these friendships work. Some kids have best friends, and some kids don't; some pairs are perfectly suited for one another, some tease each other, and sometimes you never see one particular kid without the other. The class on the thirtieth floor has a wide range of friendships, from art class partners like Bebe and Calvin, to kids who like to stand on each other's heads, like Joe and John.

And then there's Kathy, who doesn't like anyone at all.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Sometimes friends stick up for each other, but sometimes they tease each other, too. How does Sideways Stories illustrate different types of elementary school friendships?
  2. Nancy and Mac have one of the best-described friendships in the book. Why do you think their shared experience of hating their own names makes them such good friends?
  3. The kids at Wayside don't always get along, especially on the playground. What strategies do the teachers use to help them resolve disagreements?
  4. Maurecia doesn't like anyone until she's introduced to their flavor of ice cream. What do you think Sachar is trying to say here about making friends?

Chew on This

According to chapters like Myron's and Allison's, sometimes it's not always easy to be a good friend.

In Kathy's chapter, Sachar seems to be saying that the best way to make friends is to be open-minded.