|The Wednesday Wars Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Schmidt, Gary D.
ISBN: 054723760X ISBN-13: 9780547237602
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: May 2009
Annotation: The Newbery and Printz honor-winning author of "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" delivers a wonderfully witty and compelling novel about a teenage boy's mishaps and adventures over the course of the 1967-68 school year.
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
- Coming of age; Fiction.
- Junior high schools; Fiction.
- Schools; Fiction.
|BISAC Categories: |
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Family
- Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
|Lexile Measure: 990|
|Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11|
|Book type: Juvenile Fiction|
|Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.25" W x 0.75" (0.50 lbs) 264 pages|
|Accelerated Reader Info|
|Quiz #: 114653
Reading Level: 5.9 Interest Level: Middle Grades Point Value: 12.0
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
This Newbery Honor tale is now in paperback
Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.
He's just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class?
The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There's Vietnam for one thing, and then there's the family business. As far as Holling's father is concerned, nothing is more important than the family business. In fact, all of the Hoodhoods must be on their best behavior at all times. The success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has Mrs. Baker to contend with?
Contributor Bio(s): IV>Gary D. Schmidt is the author of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. His most recent novel is The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall)
Every Wednesday, Holling (who believes teachers are "born behind their desks") stays with Mrs. Baker who, as he sees it, uses the time for special torture. Ultimately, Mrs. Baker steps forward as a multilayered individual who helps Holling follow his own path. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Schmidt's novel rises above its conventions through memorable, believable characters. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring)
Every Wednesday, Holling (who believes teachers are "born behind their desks") stays with Mrs. Baker who, as he sees it, uses the time for special torture. Ultimately, Mrs. Baker steps forward as a multilayered individual who helps Holling follow his own path. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Schmidt's novel rises above its conventions through memorable, believable characters. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #4)
Entering seventh grade, Holling Hoodhood knows all about teachers. They're "born behind their desks, fully grown, with a red pen in their hand and ready to grade." And the worst of them hate your guts, which is precisely the way he believes Mrs. Baker feels about him. Every Wednesday afternoon, when the rest of his class leaves early to attend Hebrew school or catechism class, Holling, the lone Presbyterian, stays behind with Mrs. Baker. As Holling sees it, she uses the extra time for special torture, ranging from cleaning out rat cages to diagramming impossibly convoluted sentences to reading Shakespeare. That the two will grow to respect each other is a predictable trope, but the alliance nevertheless becomes convincing and winning. Insistently in the background is the Vietnam War: Mrs. Baker's husband is missing in action at Khesanh; the school's cook loses her husband in the conflict; the presence of a Vietnamese refugee in the class triggers hatred and bigotry. At home, Holling's sister supports the peace movement and women's rights; his father puts his architectural business above all; and his mother passively acquiesces to Mr. Hoodhood. Ultimately, Mrs. Baker steps out from behind her desk as a multilayered individual who helps Holling (often through their discussions of Shakespeare's plays) to dare to choose his own ending rather than follow the dictates of others. Schmidt rises above the novel's conventions to create memorable and believable characters. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2007 April #3)
On the first day of the 1967–68 school year, Holling Hoodhood thinks he's made a mortal enemy of his new teacher when it turns out he's the only seventh-grader who does not leave early every Wednesday to attend Hebrew school or catechism. (Holling is Presbyterian, and though eminently likeable, he does have a knack for unintentionally making enemies.) Stern Mrs. Baker first gives him custodial duties, but after hilarious if far-fetched catastrophes involving chalk dust, rats and freshly baked cream puffs, she switches to making him read Shakespeare. He overcomes his initial horror, adopting the Bard's inventive cursing as his own to dress down schoolyard bullies. Indeed standing up for himself is the real battle Holling is waging, especially at home, where his architect father has the entire family under his thumb. Schmidt, whose Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy won both Printz and Newbery Honors, delivers another winner here, convincingly evoking 1960s Long Island, with Walter Cronkite's nightly updates about Vietnam as the soundtrack. The serious issues are leavened with ample humor, and the supporting cast—especially the wise and wonderful Mrs. Baker—is fully dimensional. Best of all is the hero, who shows himself to be more of a man than his authoritarian father. Unlike most Vietnam stories, this one ends happily, as Schmidt rewards the good guys with victories that, if not entirely true to the period, deeply satisfy. Ages 10-14. (May)[Page 49]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2007 July)
Gr 5–8— This entertaining and nuanced novel limns Holling Hoodhood's seventh-grade year in his Long Island community, beginning in the fall of 1967. His classmates, half of whom are Jewish, the other half Catholic, leave early on Wednesdays to attend religious training. As the sole Presbyterian, he finds himself stranded with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, whom he's sure has it in for him. She starts off creating mindless chores for him but then induces him to read Shakespeare—lots of Shakespeare. Chapters titled by month initially seem overlong, relating such diverse elements as two terrifying escaped rats, cream puffs from a local bakery, his dad being a cheapskate/cutthroat architect, and Holling's tentative and sweet relationship with classmate Meryl Lee. The scary Doug Swieteck, and his even more frightening brother, and the Vietnam War are recurring menaces. A subplot involves a classmate who, as a recent Vietnamese refugee, is learning English and suffers taunts and prejudice. Cross-country tryouts, rescuing his older runaway sister, and opening day at Yankee Stadium are highlights. There are laugh-out-loud moments that leaven the many poignant ones as Schmidt explores many important themes, not the least of which is what makes a person a hero. The tone may seem cloying at first and the plot occasionally goes over-the-top, but readers who stick with the story will be rewarded. They will appreciate Holling's gentle, caring ways and will be sad to have the book end.—Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA[Page 110]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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