Thirty rib-tickling tales of Wayside School, where the classrooms are stacked one atop the other, dead rats live in the basement, and there's no 19th floor--usually. It's a long haul from the playground to the 30th floor, past the principal's office (lair of Mr. Kidswatter), past the lunchroom, where Miss Mush makes her Mushroom Surprise, past Miss Zarves' class on the 19th floor that isn't there; but the children don't mind, for Mrs. Jewls--their favorite teacher--is waiting for them. Wayside School is never dull; if Mrs. Jewls isn't demonstrating gravity by dropping the new computer out the window or delivering words of wisdom ("It doesn't matter what you wear on the outside. It's what's underneath that counts. If you want to be great and important, you have to wear expensive underpants"), her students liven things up: among other startling events, Sharie brings in a hobo for show-and-tell; Calvin shows off his birthday tattoo; and the ghost of dreaded former teacher Mrs. Gorf animates Miss Mush's potato salad. Each short episode is prefaced with a simple, evocative line drawing. Sachar has a gift for having fun without poking it too sharply, and beneath all the frivolity there very often lurks some idea or observation worth pondering. A sure-to-please sequel to Sideways Stories from Wayside School.