Author Louis Sachar (pronounced Sacker) was born March 20, 1954 in East Meadow, New York, where his family lived until the third grade. His dad worked up on the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, which may have inspired “Wayside School”, but who knows?

Louis enjoyed school and was a pretty good student, but he became an avid reader only once he hit high school. Kurt Vonnegut and J. D. Salinger were authors that first inspired him. Other favorite authors include: Richard Price, Kazuo Ishiguor, E. L. Doctorow, and E. B. White. His favorite authors wound up becoming his heroes and he wanted to be just like them.

He attended Antioch College in Ohio. During his first semester, his dad died, and he went back to California in order to be close to his mom. During this time, he sold cleaning products door-to-door, working as a Fuller Brush man.

He went back to college, going to the University of California at Berkeley where he was an Economics major. On the campus one day, he saw a rather unlikely sight of a girl in elementary school handing flyers out. Louis took one from the girl, and saw it was asking for teachers aides at the school and it would be worth three college credits. Seemed like a good deal to Louis. No homework, it was worth some college credit, no tests, no term papers, and he just had to help out in one second/third grade class at Hillside Elementary.

Besides helping out in one of the classrooms, he also became the Noontime Supervisor, or “Louis the Yard Teacher” as the kids called him. It quickly became his favorite college class, and it was an experience that changed his life.

He had written a story for a creative writing class in high school based off of his third grade teacher, about a character named Mrs. Gorf. His teacher did not like it, thinking he hadn’t taken the assignment at all seriously. He believed it was a good story. While working at the elementary school for this class, the kids enjoyed it. This is what helped him think he could be a writer or even write some longer stories.

Books in order of publication by series:

Wayside School Books

Sideways Stories From Wayside School(1978) 
Wayside School Is Falling Down(1989) 
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School(1989) 
More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School(1994) 
Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger(1995) 
The Wayside School Complete Collection(1996) 
Beneath the Cloud of Doom(2020) 

Someday Angeline Books

Someday, Angeline(1983) 
Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes(1991) 

Marvin Redpost Books

Kidnapped at Birth?(1992) 
Why Pick on Me?(1993) 
Is He a Girl?(1993) 
Alone in His Teacher’s House(1994) 
Class President(1999) 
A Flying Birthday Cake?(1999) 
Super Fast, Out of Control!(2000) 
A Magic Crystal?(2000) 

Holes Books

Holes(1998) 
Stanley Yelnats’ Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake(2002) 
Small Steps(2006) 

Standalone Novels

Johnny’s in the Basement(1981) 
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom(1987) 
Sixth Grade Secrets(1987) 
The Boy Who Lost His Face(1997) 
The Cardturner(2010) 
Fuzzy Mud(2015) 

Publication Order of Plays

Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes: A Play by Louis Sachar(2016)