Monday, February 25, 2008

The Wednesday Wars

Schmidt, Gary D. 2007. The Wednesday Wars. New York: Clarion.

I’m behind in my posting, so this will be brief. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wednesday Wars, a humorous and touching book about Holling Hoodhood, the 7th grade son of an up an coming architect in 1967. The story derives its name from the afternoons that Holling must spend alone with his teacher, Mrs. Baker. Being the only Presbyterian in the class, Holling is the only student that does not have Hebrew school or CCD on Wednesdays.

Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and household strife between his “hippie” sister and establishment father, the gruff and business-like Mrs. Baker, imparts a love of Shakespeare to a confused Holling.

While some of the events seem far-fetched, (e.g., 7th grade Holling rescuing his sister from a disastrous road trip west, the many escapades of the rats living in the ceiling tiles) they did not detract from the overall story. Holling’s first person account of his 1967 school year had me laughing out loud and crying as well. An added bonus - I'd be surprised if anyone reading this book did not have an urge to reread Shakespeare's greatest plays. I may have to check out Hamlet myself. A great book.

PS - This is another YA title that I think would easily fit a J audience - perhaps the protagonist's age prompted the YA cataloging.

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