Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

I was skeptical about this story for the first few chapters, but then the characters became real and I was hooked.  This is a sweet coming-of-age story about Holling Hoodhood and his teacher Mrs. Baker.  Holling is the only kid in his class who doesn't go to classes at the Catholic Church or the Synagogue on Wednesday afternoons, so he and Mrs. Baker start reading Shakespeare together.  Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Mrs. Baker and Holling develop a neat friendship as Holling finds the courage to grow up.

From Amazon:

Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation—the Big M—in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself.

Read: February 2013 via CD from the library

PS: The Wednesday Wars won a Newbury Honor award.

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