Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wednesday Wars: Toads, Beatles, Bats!

I have one question for you, people.  Could there be a sweeter book?  Quite simply the answer is no.  I realize that I a little late to the party on reading Wednesday Wars, but for that I truly apologize. 

Generally, I am not a proponent of the phrase lol.  Once a colleague of mine imitated a note written by a middle schooler who inserted lol after each sentence.  It went something like this:
Hey, what's up (hahahahaha).  Just sitting here in math (hahahaha).  I like your shoes (hahaahahaha).  Well, I guess I better go (hahahaha). 
If only you could see that grown man standing here giggling like a crazy girl in front of you, then you too would shy away from how the lol truly works.  However, I must admit I was lol-ing all over the place when I read Wednesday Wars.

Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt, is one of those books that everyone should read.  It follows a seventh grade boy named Holling Hoodhood (that is not a typo!) through the whole year with Mrs. Baker.  Now I'll tell you one thing, Mrs. Baker, she's good stuff.  Holling Hoodhood has the misfortune of being the only Presbyterian in Mrs. Baker's class.  This means that on Wednesdays when all the Catholic students go to catechism class and all the Jewish students go to Hebrew school, Holling is left all alone with Mrs. Baker, whom he is convinced hates his guts.

Each Wednesday Holling spends with Mrs. Baker is an adventure.  He begins by being her servant, you know, doing those chores no teacher wants to do.  But, soon she introduces him to the world of Shakespeare which Holling relates to his own life like no one I've ever seen.  During his time in seventh grade, Holling learns that many people are much more than they seem, and that sometimes, people are exactly what they seem.

Wednesday Wars is set in 1968.  So, obviously, Mr. Schmidt took the opportunity to weave world events into his tale.  It was so seamless and so natural that I was able to really identify with how Holling must have felt growing up in that time. 

I love this book!  I was pleased to learn that there is a follow up book that follows Holling's friend Doug as he moves from Long Island to Marysville.  It's called Okay for Now.  Quite honestly, life before this book is like being cursed by Caliban! (hahahahaha)

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