The Wednesday Wars
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Paperback cover of the book
|Author||Gary D. Schmidt|
|May 21, 2007|
(Hardback & Paperback)
|LC Class||PZ7.S3527 We 2007|
|Followed by||Okay for Now|
The Wednesday Wars is a 2007 young adult historical fiction novel written by Gary D. Schmidt, the author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. The novel is set in suburban Long Island during the 1967–68 school year. The Vietnam War is an important backdrop for the novel. This novel was given a Newbery Honor medal in 2008. It was also nominated for the 2010 Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award.
Holling Hoodhood is a seventh grader in 1967. In his school, the student body is largely divided between Catholics and Jews, and every Wednesday both groups go to their separate churches for religious classes. Holling, a Presbyterian, is forced to remain at class with his teacher, Mrs. Baker.
Initially, Holling is convinced that Mrs. Baker resents him for this. This suspicion is compounded when she begins having him read Shakespeare. As he begins to enjoy the plays, though, he also begins to understand Mrs. Baker—whose husband, he learns, is stationed in Vietnam.
The story's main focus is Holling's struggle to get out from his overbearing father's shadow. Mr. Hoodhood is a cutthroat architect who is determined that Holling take over the business when he retires. Holling ultimately finds an ally in his older sister, Heather, and eventually comes to understand that Mrs. Baker is also trying to help him learn to be a man.
Other subplots in the story include Holling entering track, him going on his first date, his sister running away to California, and the ever-present shadow of the Vietnam War—as well as other historical events, such as the shootings of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The plot follows a steady, progression-focused format, lacking any clear climax. Instead, it simply follows Holling as he struggles through school, forms friends out of supposed enemies, and tries to grow up.
Main Character: Holling Hoodhood, Mrs. Baker.
Secondary Characters: Danny Hupfer, Mai Thi, Meryl Lee Kowalski, Doug Sweiteck and his brother, Sycorax and Caliban (rats), Heather Hoodhood, Mickey Mantle, Mr.Hoodhood, Mrs. Hoodhood, Mr. Goldman, Mrs. Sidman, Mr. Vendleri, Mr. Guareschi, Mrs. Bigio, Mr. Petrelli, Coach Quatrini, William Shakespere, Caliban, Sycorax, Martin Luther king Jr.,Bobby Kennedy.
- "2008 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Services to Children. Retrieved 20 January 2011.