The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Toads, beetles, bats…
Gotta love a kid who learns to swear from Shakespeare.
But Holling Hoodhood (blame his ever insensitive parents for that name) learns that and so much more at Camillo Junior High School on Long Island, New York.
Holling is the kind of kid who isn’t quite cool enough to keep the bullies away, but well rounded enough to accept his 7th grade teacher's recommendation that they study Shakespeare together, agrees to be Ariel in The Tempest and saves his sister from getting hit by a bus, although, I’m sure he thought twice about it. He is a kid who loves the Yankees, but when snubbed by Mickey Mantle because his was wearing yellow tights, his friends come to his rescue and reject the baseball superstar. Young love in Jr High isn’t easy either – when an interest develops between Holling and Meryl Lee (the daughter of Mr. Hoodhood’s chief business competition in town) things become complicated when their parents profession nearly dooms them, in true Romeo & Juliet style. And then there is Mrs. Baker – the teacher who coaches, edifies, trains, tutors, and inspires Holling to search for the man he will become.
There isn’t much more than I can say but, I LOVED THIS BOOK!! Every word, every scene, every conflict, every emotion. Every step Holling takes to look beyond himself and the world around him -- to his friends, to his sister, to school work, to the Vietnam conflict – was a delight to read. It was witty, thoughtful, poignant, and nostalgic.
If there is such a thing as a 7th grade Renaissance Man, Holling Hoodhood has it nailed.
Book source: Library copy
Daisy Mom (Melissa Mc) is a mother of 3; wife of 1; daughter, sister, friend, aunt; lover of football, politics, food, travel, walking, theater and all things literary.