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The Wednesday Wars Hardcover – May 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I am reading this aloud to my high school sophomores on Fridays. Their reactions:
1) They laugh out loud while I'm reading the story.
2) They beg me to read more and talk about it on other days of the week, and have told me they like it.
If that's not a ringing endorsement for a book, I don't know what is.
"Toads, beetles, bats, light on you!"
In September of 1967, in the suburbs of Long Island, Holling Hoodhood begins seventh grade at Camillo Junior High. Holling happens to be the only Presbyterian student in Mrs. Baker's class, and so on Wednesday afternoons, "when at 1:45 sharp, half of my class went to Hebrew School at Temple Beth-El, and, at 1:55, the other half went to Catechism at Saint Adelbert's," Mrs. Baker finds herself responsible for dealing with her one remaining student.
Holling, who believes Mrs. Baker hates him because of this situation, spends that first month's Wednesday afternoons completing classroom chores that his teacher assigns him. "The Wednesdays of September passed in a cloudy haze of chalk dust." But, after hilarious and unintended consequences result from Holling's missteps in carrying out several of his assigned tasks, Mrs. Baker decides to shift gears and spend subsequent Wednesday afternoons "doing" Shakespeare with her student.
It turns out that there are also hilarious and unintended consequences that result from this new course of action. For while Holling undertakes his experiencing of the Bard with the belief that, "Teachers bring up Shakespeare only to bore students to death," it turns out that he recognizes some terrific stories when he reads them and -- thanks to Caliban -- recognizes some great new (old) curses which he sets to practicing until, in times of great adversity, they leap as naturally from his tongue as do the phrases that are more commonly heard amongst today's young rapper wannabes:
"She put her red pen down.Read more ›
Mrs. Baker hates Holling Hoodhood. There's no two ways about it, as far as he can tell.Read more ›
What are some of series of incidents? First, I’ll start with the broad, sweeping ones. Holling’s teacher seems to hate him. Although Holling at least initially seems clueless as to her reasons, I suspect it has something to do with his being the only student in her 1:45 class. The rest of his peers are attending a Catholic or Jewish religion class; Holling is of neither faith. Second, while helping Mrs. Baker clean her classroom one Wednesday afternoon, Holling accidentally sets loose two overgrown ferocious rats. The numerous and unsuccessful attempts to capture the rats make for the bulk of the slapstick, which seems out-of-place in an otherwise fairly serious novel. Third, after his peers suspect him of receiving a cream puff from Mrs. Baker as a reward, they threaten to hurt him unless he buys ones for the entire class. Holling’s family isn’t rich. Moreover, his parents are stringent. This means, Holling has to find a job to earn the money. Fourth, Mrs. Baker eventually comes up with a productive use of those Wednesday afternoons, which is requiring Holling to read all of Shakespeare’s plays. This lands Holling into trouble with some bullies and leads to some minor slapstick, which this time comes off as funny.
Within each of these plots are narrower, more defined events, ones that feel anecdotal in nature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This arrived quickly and in pristine condition. My 11 year old daughter, an advanced reader, thoroughly enjoyed it.. Read morePublished 3 days ago by MsSushiQ1
I liked the character Holling and his life at school and home. It moved me to laughter and tears. It was well-written. Read morePublished 24 days ago by HonestReviewer
I like how the book focused on serious topics, like the Vietnam War and Holling's home situation, but also added some humor by focusing on Holling's social life. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Ngozi
This books is such a delight! My husband and I listened to it and Joel Johnstone is a great reader! Wonderful and delightful with highs, lows and laughter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathy D. Ericksen
My grandchildren recommended I read this book and it was incredible!Published 1 month ago by Kathaline
Underlying what appears to be a simply written book is a cleverly crafted story about a Long Island seventh grader's trial and tribulations during his 1967-68 school year. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A&P