Classroom @ the End of the Hall Front Street Books $14.95 128 pages 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 65 b&w illustrations Ages 10 and up ISBN 1-886910-07-3 Reprinted: Scholastic Signature 1997/ PHP Japan 1997
Book Description: Incredible encounters seem to be the norm at this school, and the unbelievable experiences all seem to prove a point. Whether it’s the hirsute beasty that moves into the desk of the messy girl or a genie from the chalkboard that grants a wish to the class know-it-all, the creatures of Douglas Evans’s amusing stories all communicate subtle lessons to kids. Humorous stories of familiar students and unbelievable classroom inhabitants make this book an attractive alternative to stories of the supernatural that entertain without any substance.(Ages 8 to 12)
From New York Times Book Review: The custodian at the W.T. Melon Elementary School tells some tall tales about ghosts and mischief in the building ... believe them, or laugh, or both.
From Publisher’s Weekly - Publishers Weekly: Peculiar happenings are the norm in the classroom that serves as the setting for this droll collection. Occasionally reminiscent of Louis Sachar’s Wayside School stories, these cleverly crafted episodes likewise make the impossible highly entertaining and at times strangely plausible. Nimbly shifting perspectives, the narrator focuses on various students’ encounters with such creatures as a genie who appears from a cloud of chalk dust and grants the ill-conceived wish of the class “Pain-in-the-Neck” to become the teacher; a hairy pest that takes over a girl’s hopelessly messy desk; a witch who upstages the class braggart during a Halloween party; and a bug that whispers answers in a girl’s ear, breaking her of the habit of copying off her classmates’ papers. Lacing his stories with waggish wordplay and humorous asides, first-time author Evans conveys worthy messages with a lighthearted subtlety. A refreshing debut, and a good choice for a middle-grade classroom read-aloud. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
Author Comments: I took notes for this book while teaching in a private school in Berkeley and after fifteen years of teaching in elementary schools around the country and world. With nods to Roald Dahl and Betty MacDonald I had fun remembering experiences and former students, ones you find in every classroom.