Teen Stuff: The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt

Read this book. Really. The Wednesday Wars is a hilarious look at September through June in the seventh grade. Told from the POV of Holling Hoodhood, who is the only Presbyterian in his class, the younger brother a flower child teenager, and “hated” by his teacher Mrs. Baker. For Holling seventh grade is full of death threats, pranks, escape rats, penitentiary-bound eighth graders, baseball stats, and creampuffs covered in chalk dust- you know the usual seventh grade stuff. Set in Long Island, NY in 1967-68, during the Vietnam War, with Walter Cronkite on the TV, the book isn’t all fun and games. Holling is stuck spending Wednesday afternoons with Mrs. Baker, who may or may not hate his guts, reading Shakespeare plays, which makes way for some great metaphors throughout the book. Holling learns a lot that year, about himself and the world around him. This 2008 Newbery Honor book made me laugh and cry, and I was sad it had to end. (For grades 6 and up.)

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