• Book

The Wednesday wars

by Schmidt, Gary D.

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Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction, R Newbery Honor 2008

Available Copies: Downtown Teen

Additional Details

During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

Community Reviews

Teen book

I am 10 and I read this book and it was good for my level!

History and Humor

This is a beautiful, down-to-earth, touching book about a boy's year in 7th grade, in 1967-8. The historic stuff doesn't overshadow the personal at all - it's absolutely perfectly intertwined. The war of the title is what happens every Wednesday afternoon when Holling - the main character - is stuck alone in his classroom with his teacher when the rest of his class goes off to religious education of various kinds.

Shakespeare, flower children, voracious rats, cream puffs, bullying, baseball, cross-country, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, parental kindness (or lack thereof) - this book's got it all. It's wonderful. I think I like it even more than Schmidt's 2011 book, "Okay for Now", which features a minor character from "The Wednesday Wars".

Recommended for ages 9-15, especially boys.

Holling Hoodhood

The good: Holling, the narrator/protagonist, is a likable 7th grader with a mostly reliable, compelling voice. The development of his relationship with his teacher comes off without the nostalgia that we often get from adults writing about school days of yore. Furthermore, the adults that are central to the story are often unique, non-stereotypical characters, who have compelling subplots of their own, such as Mrs. Baker's secret history and her husband fighting in Vietnam. The war violence happens somewhat off the page, but nonetheless carries an emotional impact.

The bad: many of the scenarios are far fetched at best and they don't need to be. The book sells itself as an historical fiction, but some events are practically out of a cartoon, and this made me care less about the characters because they lost that realness factor. Also, it's not totally clear whether the author is writing for adults or for teens. I doubt that teens would care much about all the Shakespeare quotes or get much out of them, especially as 5th-6th grader readers who haven't read the plays themselves.

Awesome book!!

this is a awesome book about a 7th grader named holling hoodhood. the events that take place in this book are hilarious, sad, and everything in between. The author makes the characters real and believable.

Solid

I found that this book gave wonderful historical details about the late 60s without sounding like a book written to teach children about history. Even though this is a "young adult" book, I would recommend it for anyone because in addition to the teen protagonist, the adults in the book have a pretty powerful storyline.

great story

I really enjoyed this book - it's funny, touching, and bittersweet at times. It was especially poignant for me because I was reading it 40 years after the setting (1968), so many of the events that Holling was experiencing through the news were being retold and relived on the radio. I suspect this may be a 'young adult' fiction book that parents appreciate more than their teens, but it really is a great story.

OK

This book is okay, but not that great. I read it, but didnt really like it.

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