Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What We're Reading: Wednesday Wars

Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt, is the winner of the 2008 Newbery Honor Books. It's an amusing story about the adventures of a teenage boy who has incredible insight.

Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader in Long Island, New York, has this gift of unintentionally making enemies. It's the 1967-68 school year and every Wednesday afternoon he's stuck with his English teacher, Mrs. Baker, since other students go to religion classes. At the beginning, Holling is given menial classroom duties, but the teacher switches gears and asks him to read a Shakespeare play each month. By analyzing different characters and plots and comparing them to the tumultuous Vietnam era, and to adolescent problems like bullying and authority, Holling learns different life lessons. The strict Mrs. Baker helps him to develop his inner qualities and be true to himself.

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