Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Wednesday Wars

I wouldn't have picked up this book, except I had to read it for my book club.

I'm glad I read it. It was a fun MG read, that I've now passed onto my elementary age daughter to read. She's enjoying it too. And now we can walk around the house saying, "Toads, beetles, bats," together. Along with "pied ninny".

It's also gotten her interested in Shakespeare and reminded me that there are several plays referenced in the book I haven't read yet. Maybe I'll get back to the Bard after I read the Lost Heroes of Olympus series, which I've promised my daughter I'd read. I'm already through Book 1.

I wasn't in 7th grade when this book takes place - 1967. I wasn't even born! But the great thing is, the themes of the story are timeless. It could take place now, during WWII, or the Gulf War. Going through 7th grade with Holling is an ordinary life adventure with some believable extraordinary moments thrown in.

It's a clean read, if you don't count Shakespeare curses, and most people would have to look up what they mean anyway. A well crafted read. A fun read. Safe for middle-grade and up. Oh, and there's a sequel too.

Grab your copy and a tray of cream puffs.

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.

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