Title: The Wednesday Wars
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Summary: Not since Stanley Yelnats has there been a more oddly-named character than seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood. That name isn’t the only tough break in Holling’s life – growing up on Long Island in 1967, he is the only kid in class that doesn’t get to leave school early for religion classes on Wednesdays at the Catholic church or Jewish synagogue. That means he gets to spend those afternoons – alone – with Mrs. Baker, his tough as nails, no-fun English teacher. And what torment does Mrs. Baker have in store for poor Holling…reading the works of William Shakespeare! As if life wasn’t complicated enough with the news reports from Vietnam and two escaped class pet rats lurking in the ceiling above his desk…
As the book moves from September to June, Holling discovers a lot about himself, Mrs. Baker, and his town – that you shouldn’t always trust your first impression of someone, that sometimes you have stand up for yourself even when it seems impossible, and that there are some pretty good curses in Shakespeare!
Who will like this book?: If you have ever had a favorite teacher that you hated when you first met them, this is the book for you. This is a great book for someone looking for something funny but not silly, about friendship, school and family life, and for people who like stories with happy, not sappy, endings!
If you like this, try this: For another funny story about ordinary kids living in complicated times, featuring a guy with a terrible name, try Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian