THE WEDNESDAY WARS
by Gary D. Schmidt
Accelerated Reader: Level: 5.9. Pts. 12.
Number of Multiple Choice Questions on Quiz: 15.
Take the 15-Question Whole Book Quiz!
On Wednesday afternoons, while his Catholic and Jewish schoolmates attend religious
instruction, Holling Hoodhood, the only Presbyterian in his seventh grade, is alone in the
classroom with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, who Holling is convinced hates his guts. He
feels more certain after Mrs. Baker assigns Shakespeare's plays for Holling to
discuss during their shared afternoons.
Each month in Holling's tumultuous seventh-grade year is a chapter in this quietly
powerful coming-of-age novel set in suburban Long Island during the late '60s.
The slow start may deter some readers, and Mrs. Baker is too good to be true: she
arranges a meeting between Holling and the New York Yankees, brokers a deal to
save a student's father's architectural firm, and, after revealing her past as
an Olympic runner, coaches Holling to the varsity cross-country team. However,
Schmidt, whose Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (2005) was named both
a Printz and a Newbery Honor Book, makes the implausible believable and the
Seamlessly, Schmidt knits together the story's themes: the
cultural uproar of the '60s, the internal uproar of early adolescence,
and the timeless wisdom of Shakespeare's words. Holling's unwavering, distinctive
voice offers a gentle, hopeful, moving story of a boy who, with the right help,
learns to stretch beyond the limitations of his family, his violent times, and his fear,
as he leaps into his future with his eyes and his heart wide open.