The Wednesday Wars (Paperback)
Thanks to my daughter the English teacher, I have been "discovering" some compelling young adult fiction. Both of these books by an award-winning author (Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist) deal with life in junior high school, with all the inevitable issues of friends, teachers, parents. But even more significant is the compassionate, humorous way Schmidt handles the underlying questions of morality and values. All that and an irresistible and informative dose of Shakespeare and the politics of the 1960's (The Wednesday Wars) and art and Audubon's paintings (Okay for Now). Good-hearted, insightful, and reassuringly well-written.— Mary
A 2008 Newbery Honor Book
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 the course of the 1967–68 school year in Long Island, New York.
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.
About the Author
* "Schmidt ... [gets] to the emotional heart of every scene without overstatement ... another virtuoso turn." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Schmidt...makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous...a gentle, hopeful, moving story." —ALA Booklist, starred review
"[An] entertaining and nuanced novel.... There are laugh-out-loud moments that leaven the many poignant ones." School Library Journal
"An accessible, humorous school story, and at the same time, an insightful coming-of-age tale." Bookpage