Sunday, August 1, 2021

Book Review | Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is nothing quite like reading a Wayside School book for the first time. And up until last year when this one was published, that was something I never thought would happen for me again.

I had read the first three to Eleanor a couple years ago and we laughed constantly. These three remain her favorites, and are the ones I most often find under her pillow when I am changing the bedsheets. Her copies are well-loved now, and she reads chapters at random, whichever one strikes her fancy at that moment. I love that she loves this school and these kids as much as I did when I was in elementary school. She was so excited when I told her a fourth volume was coming and we snatched it up from the library as soon as it landed.

I was, however, extremely nervous about this fourth book coming out 25 years after the third installment. I wondered if it would feel dated if it had to keep with the tone of the others, and maybe the reason the other three didn't feel dated is because I had read and loved them so much as a child. After all, the first book was written in 1978, before I was even born!

I also worried that instead of feeling dated, it would be UPdated and everyone would have iPhones and laptops.

Silly me. I should have trusted Louis Sacher more.

The plot certainly did not disappoint, if you could call it a plot? The overall goings-on is that there is this vaguely-references Cloud of Doom heading toward Wayside School and the kids are all incredibly busy and hard at work studying for the Ultimate Test so now they have two things to worry about. Yet Mrs. Jewls guides them all in her normal fashion and the children survive in the most Wayside Schoolish way possible.

I have to admit, this did feel like it had some finality to it, that this was our last chance to visit with the kids from the 30th floor. Things left hanging in other books were wrapped up nicely. Sacher's magic of the first three books is perfectly captured here and everything about the book is familiar and comforting. I think it is a pretty powerful thing when an author can do that so easily, despite the long passage of time since the last publication. The students and teachers all retained their some quirks and characteristics and if this is the last one, the series has gone out on a high note.

I'll share a highlight now of my favorite part at 97%. It made me so happy that it happened, but so sad that it took so long, that this is what she had been waiting for all this time. If you remember Miss Mush, the lunch teacher, it may strike the same chords with you:

Mr. Pepperadder grabbed and shook Miss Mush's arm.

"They like it!" he said excitedly. "Look at them! They really like it!"

Miss Mush didn't say a word. A tear rolled down her sweaty and sooty cheek.

"Did you write down the recipe?" he asked.

Miss Mush shook her head. "There is no recipe," she whispered. "No two rainbows are the same." She gazed out across the lunchroom. This was all she ever wanted.

Highly Highly Recommended.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Tackling the TBR Week 28: July 22 - July 31, 2021


I am now entering year three of Tackling the TBR. Slowly but surely I have made big strides in getting by TBR under control. When I first started in 2019, my TBR was topping out at over 5,000 books. I don't know that I will ever get below 500, but a #BookDragon can dream!

I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month. Feel free to join in if you'd like!

Previous Week's TBR Total: 2,866

Currently Reading

Books Added to TBR:

Books Removed from TBR: 0

Books Read

Books DNF-ed

Duplicates Removed: 0

New TBR Total: 2,857

Any of these catch your eye? Have you already read any? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

State of the ARC #37


State of the ARC is a monthly feature hosted by Evelina at Avalinah's Books - and now me, too! I took over temporary hosting duties back in early 2020. A couple months ago Evelina asked if I would like to co-host and of course I said yes! If you are new to the meme, you can check out the guidelines HERE.

Links go to my review. The majority of the ARCs I receive are through NetGalley. Some have come from publicists, or were offered to me from a publisher who specifically approved me for it on NetGalley; I will always note in the review how I acquired the ARC.


February was not too bad, if I do say so myself. Getting reviews up is such a chore right now, hopefully I get my mojo back over spring break next week!

Currently Reading
Defenders of the Norman Crown - May, 2021
The Coffin Ship - June, 2021

Finished, Review to Come
Sweating in the Land of Smiles - July 2021 (Author Gift)
How to Walk with Steve - September, 2021 (Publicist Gift)
Where the Light Fell - October, 2021 (Publicist Gift via NetGalley)

Review or Feedback Sent

When I first started blogging my monthly State of the ARC I felt like I was drowning in ARCs. My main goal was to get my NetGalley feedback ratio above 80% and thanks to this meme, I slowly but surely clawed my way up. At my highest I was at 97%. I am currently at 96%.

How are you doing with your ARC goals? Let's talk ARCs!

Happy Reading

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Eleanor Reads! July Edition


Each month Eleanor and I share the chapter books we've read in that period. We've been reading chapter books since before Kindergarten and her attention span as a four year old was definitely something to brag about. Eleanor was born a reader and that makes my heart so, so happy.

Do the kiddos in your life have an interest in any of these?

Happy Reading,
Eleanor and Sarah

Stacking the Shelves #157

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Reading Reality. It is a chance to showcase all the goodies you've collected throughout the week, whether they're bought on-line or in-store, an ARC or a final copy, borrowed from a friend or the library, physical or digital, etc.

Library Treasures

Happy Reading!