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Hardcover The Wednesday Wars Book

ISBN: 0545105625

ISBN13: 9780545105620

The Wednesday Wars

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

In this Newbery Honor-winning novel, Gary D. Schmidt offers an unforgettable antihero. The Wednesday Wars is a wonderfully witty and compelling story about a teenage boy's mishaps and adventures over... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

I loved this book as a kid, as a teenager, and as an adult

If it were up to me, this book would be a classic already. The characters, the pacing, the conflict—it’s all top notch. The main character is in 7th grade during the story, and introducing it to kids around this age would be perfect, but it could absolutely be enjoyed by younger kids or older teens. For any kid (or even adult!) who feels like a bit of an outsider for whatever reason, this book will make your heart ache and sing in turn. It’s a tiny treasure that still makes me smile to remember.

Truely A LOL Book for everyone!

Historical fiction at its best! This tale of student vs teacher vs bully vs principal vs father vs THE RATS will leave you wiping tears from your eyes. The drudgery of diagramming sentences, to the thrill of running cross-country, to the jerk baseball star. It's just all too good ... and then the Shakespeare ... Toads, Beetles, and Bats! (ps. I'm 37 and enjoyed this way too much, kids might too!)

Not Just For The Young

I picked up The Wednesday Wars after finding it on the reading list of several reading blogs that I subscribe to. The author, Gary D. Schmidt, writes for the young adult reader. So, I was a little apprehensive on picking up the book. But, I am so glad that I did. I am 68 years old and I found that the historical references in this book are definitely in my life’s time frame. The book is funny to the point that it makes you laugh out loud. And it is also sad to the point that it makes you cry. My fifth and sixth grade teacher could have been Mrs. Baker who took Holling Hoodhood on a miraculous year of learning — not just academically but in a journey to find who he really was. The book is delightful. It is on my list of To Be Read Again. I would recommend it to any age person.

A ringing endorsement

I could tell you all of the wonderful things I love about this book, but I'll tell you the two things that have most convinced me that this is a great book worth reading. I am reading this aloud to my high school sophomores on Fridays. Their reactions: 1) They laugh out loud while I'm reading the story. 2) They beg me to read more and talk about it on other days of the week, and have told me they like it. If that's not a ringing endorsement for a book, I don't know what is.

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

Meet Holling Hoodhood. He is entering seventh grade. There's nothing too scary about it since he's known most of his classmates forever. There are a few bullies and a few annoying ones, but overall, Holling is looking forward to a new year. Unfortunately, the first Wednesday of the new year reveals a not-so-pleasant surprise. Every Wednesday afternoon beginning just before 2:00pm everyone leaves his classroom. That is, everyone except Holling and Mrs. Baker. What happens is, the Catholic half of the class is taken by bus to attend Catechism class, and the Jewish half of the class goes to Hebrew School at the temple. Since the Hoodhood family attends the Presbyterian Church, Holling stays put in the classroom. Needless to say, Holling realizes quite quickly that Mrs. Baker is rather disappointed. If all the students were to leave on Wednesday afternoons, she would have a peaceful chunk of time to catch up on grading papers and making lesson plans. Alas, Mrs. Baker must find ways to occupy Holling instead. There are days when Holling is pretty certain that Mrs. Baker hates him. Typical Holling-type chores include cleaning the erasers, washing the chalkboard, cleaning the cage of the classroom's pet rats, and doing extra worksheets. One afternoon when Holling was preparing for his usual Wednesday assignment, Mrs. Baker surprised him with a new idea. He was going to begin reading Shakespeare. Soon, Wednesday afternoons become quite interesting. In addition to the classroom elements of the story, readers get an inside view of life in the Hoodhood home. Holling's father is an ambitious architect, his mother is an obedient housewife, and his sister is a "flower child" out to change the Vietnam-era world. Gary D. Schmidt presents the world of middle school in THE WEDNESDAY WARS. Every student's nightmare and every teacher's dream - one-on-one instruction. Schmidt fills the pages with sentence diagramming, vicious yellow-toothed rats, luscious cream puffs, chalk dust, yellow tights with feathered bottoms, as well as serious subjects like Shakespeare, architecture, politics, the Vietnam War, and growing up in the 60's. Readers, young and old alike, are sure to fall in love with Holling's story. Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"

This should win something BIG

War may be raging in Vietnam, but Holling has his own battles to fight. When the rest of his class leaves for Hebrew school or Catechism every Wednesday afternoon, he's stuck in class with the fearsome Mrs. Baker, who's either out to murder him or slowly torture him with Shakespeare. Add in a pair of pet rats gone wild, an ill-fated cream puff incident, and an unfortunate pair of tights with feathers on the you-know-what, and you've got a masterful story full of schoolyard scrapes and a surprising core of heart that grabs hold and won't let go.


Praise, like profanity, has to be doled out carefully. If a reviewer is a particularly enthusiastic sort (ahem!) and prefers to lavish cuddles and kisses on every book that crosses their plate then what exactly are they supposed to do when something truly extraordinary appears before them? Use up all your good stuff too early in the season and you've nothing left. Fortunately for me, I took precautions. I've been on permanent Newbery Lookout this year. Anything and everything that might be a contender, I've snatched up mighty quick in the hopes of getting some early buzz going. And while it's been a nice year, I think everyone will agree that the Spring 2007 season has turned out to be fairly so-so. Nobody is talking about any books with any real passion quite yet. That is, until whispers started to surround "The Wednesday Wars" by Gary Schmidt. Whispers. Murmurs. Over-exaggerated winks accompanied by sharp elbow pokes to the ribcage. So when I finally managed to get my sticky little hands on a copy I had to do the standard Reviewer Cleansing of the Mind. I had to tell myself soothing things before I began along the lines of, "It's okay if you don't like it. Forget all the people who've already loved it. Clear your mind. Expand your soul. Breathe." Then I picked it up and forgot all of that. Good? Brother, you don't know the meaning of the word till you read this puppy. For those of you out there who think Gary D. Schmidt was done robbed ROBBED of a Newbery for his, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, I think we've found ourselves something new to root for. Mrs. Baker hates Holling Hoodhood. There's no two ways about it, as far as he can tell. From the minute he entered her classroom she had it in for him and he's trying not to become paranoid. Now because half the kids in his class are Jewish and half Catholic, every Wednesday Holling (a Protestant through and through) is stuck alone with Mrs. Baker while the other kids go to Hebrew School or Catechism for the afternoon. And what has this evil genius dreamt up for our poor young hero? Shakespeare. He has to read it and get tested on it regularly with the intention (Holling is sure) of boring him to death. The thing is, Holling kind of gets to like the stuff. Meanwhile, though, he has to deal with wearing yellow tights butt-gracing feathers, avoiding killer rats and his older sister, and deciding what to do about Meryl Lee Kowalski, "who has been in love with me since she first laid eyes on me in the third grade," amongst other things. Set during the school year of 1967-68 against a backdrop of Vietnam and political strife, Holling finds that figuring out who you are goes above and beyond what people want you to become. Oh sure. I liked it. I'm also 28 with an MLIS degree and an apartment in Manhattan. I am not your average child reader. And when a lot of people think of children's books they think of quality literature that bored the socks off of them when they were kids. So the real questi


After now reading THE WEDNESDAY WARS three times, it remains for me the book of the year and my pick for the next Newbery Medal. "Toads, beetles, bats, light on you!" In September of 1967, in the suburbs of Long Island, Holling Hoodhood begins seventh grade at Camillo Junior High. Holling happens to be the only Presbyterian student in Mrs. Baker's class, and so on Wednesday afternoons, "when at 1:45 sharp, half of my class went to Hebrew School at Temple Beth-El, and, at 1:55, the other half went to Catechism at Saint Adelbert's," Mrs. Baker finds herself responsible for dealing with her one remaining student. Holling, who believes Mrs. Baker hates him because of this situation, spends that first month's Wednesday afternoons completing classroom chores that his teacher assigns him. "The Wednesdays of September passed in a cloudy haze of chalk dust." But, after hilarious and unintended consequences result from Holling's missteps in carrying out several of his assigned tasks, Mrs. Baker decides to shift gears and spend subsequent Wednesday afternoons "doing" Shakespeare with her student. It turns out that there are also hilarious and unintended consequences that result from this new course of action. For while Holling undertakes his experiencing of the Bard with the belief that, "Teachers bring up Shakespeare only to bore students to death," it turns out that he recognizes some terrific stories when he reads them and -- thanks to Caliban -- recognizes some great new (old) curses which he sets to practicing until, in times of great adversity, they leap as naturally from his tongue as do the phrases that are more commonly heard amongst today's young rapper wannabes: "She put her red pen down. 'Since there are only two of us in the room -- a situation which has become very familiar to us these past months -- and since you were speaking, I assumed that you must be addressing me. What did you say?' " 'Nothing.' " 'Mr. Hoodhood, what did you say?' " 'Strange stuff, the dropsy drown you.' "Mrs. Baker considered me for a moment. 'Was that what you said?' " 'Yes.' " 'A curious line to repeat, especially since the combination never occurs in the play. Are you trying to improve on Shakespeare?' " 'I like the rhythm of it,' I said. " 'The rhythm of it.' " 'Yes.' Mrs. Baker considered this for a moment. Then she nodded. 'So do I,' she said, and turned back to spreading the red plague. "That had been close." While all of this makes for a truly delightful and zany tale, my description to this point merely scratches the surface of what Gary Schmidt has accomplished, for THE WEDNESDAY WARS is a profound story of change and of heroes, a story that hit me hard in the gut and is, unquestionably, one of the best books I have read in years. Admittedly, some of my reaction to THE WEDNESDAY WARS results from the fact that I, like Holling Hoodhood, was a suburban Long Island seventh grader during the 1967-68 school year. This was a school year that, for me, be

The Wednesday Wars Mentions in Our Blog

The Wednesday Wars in All the World's a Stage: Shakespeare-Related Reads for All Ages
All the World's a Stage: Shakespeare-Related Reads for All Ages
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 17, 2020
With the cancelation of so many of our summer adventures, we are relying on literature to take us where we want to go. This week, a mini Shakespeare Festival with reads for all ages!
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