Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 5 - 10X5.973675

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.

Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0545105625
ISBN-13: 9780545105620
20 Book Reviews
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  • lains24
    lains24Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm55 stars
    Great read! I couldn't put it down.
    • HiSunday, June 3, 2018 at 1:00 pm
      This was an awesome book
      • Anthony Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm
        How many points is the book
        • HiThursday, October 12, 2017 at 10:39 am
          Awesome book 👍🏻
          • redheadperson22
            redheadperson22Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm33 starsFeatured
            A comedy isn’t about being funny...a comedy is about characters who dare to know that they may choose a happy ending after all.” Wednesday Wars, (p.262). The novel Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, is a piece of realistic/historical fiction set in 1967-1968 on Long Island. It follows a 7th grade boy named Holling Hoodhood. Holling starts the 7th grade, and is immediately convinced that his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. The book follows Holling through the ups and downs of the school year. A notable character in the book is Doug Swieteck, another kid in Holling’s class. Doug is shown to be a bit of a trouble maker, but Holling seems to be friends with him to some extent. This is shown when Holling states, “Doug Swieteck once made up a list of 410 ways to get a teacher to hate you… I think things became illegal around Number 167.” (p.1) Also, a notable event in the book is when Holling saves his sister from being hit by a bus. When Holling goes to the hospital Mrs. Baker and his principal seem to show more concern for him than his parents. This is illustrated by the text, “When Mrs. ‘Your father has spoken over the phone with the nurse at the front desk. He has given approval for any necessary procedure, and says that, since everything seems under control, he will be along as soon as may be convenient.’” (p.126) Despite that, the tone is generally light-hearted and humorous. Holling narrates in a way that reflects the ideas and perceptions of a typical 7th grader. For example, “Reading Shakespeare. Of all the strategies Mrs. Baker could have come with, this would be the worst. Teachers bring up Shakespeare only to bore students to death. And I was going to be bored to death for the next 8 months. No human being could stand it.” (p. 40) Lastly, one of the themes of the book seems to pertain to growing up and destiny. Holling's father has pretty much planned out what both his kids are going to do with their lives. He expects certain things of them, and expects them to go along with his plans. Holling's older sister, Heather, repeatedly tries to go against their father, but she rarely gets anywhere. Holling generally tries not to rock the boat, but this fact changes as the book goes on. And at nearly the end of the book, Holling has a conversation with his father that illustrates this. His family is leaving Danny's bar mitzvah, and Holling's dad makes a comment about it. Holling voices his disagreement on this comment, and his dad asks him to explain his point. They then have a short conversation about growing up and becoming a man. Holling disagrees with his father's views, but instead of backing away from the conversation, he stands his ground. Holling's father asks who Holling is, and Holling responds, " 'I don't know yet,' I said finally. 'I'll let you know.' " (p.261). This implies that Holling plans on figuring out his own future despite of what his father says. This theme of the book seems to be: "Even though life can be hard, you don't have to let it defeat you. You can choose your own destiny and it's possible to be alright." In conclusion, Wednesday Wars is a somewhat entertaining book. It should be read by anyone who has nothing better to do. Its contents include the light humor and slightly interesting characters of a typical middle-grade novel.
            • hadleyf9
              hadleyf9Friday, January 15, 2016 at 10:30 am
              Ok, this was a good book, but mom told me it was a 8th grade book and I'm in 3rd grade.
              • penguin313
                penguin313Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm55 stars
                A good book. It tells the story of a middle school students life in 1967. With a teacher who "hates his guts" and Shakespeare on Wednesdays, will he survive?
                • msoloriojara
                  msoloriojaraThursday, February 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm
                  This book is so funny. It is about a kid named Holling Hood is worried because of Mrs.Baker.
                  • Dcastro14Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 12:59 pm
                    I think it is funny because, this kid named Holling got Mrs. Baker for 7th grade. He worries that Mrs.Baker will give him Shakespeare to read
                    • mrslmattox
                      mrslmattoxThursday, February 5, 2015 at 12:59 pm
                      Its a really great book and it gets funny while ur following along. The kid name is Holling hood hood and his tacher name is Mrs.Baker and just read and find out what happens. :D