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The Wednesday Wars

de Gary D. Schmidt

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Séries: Doug Swieteck

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4,0312122,952 (4.25)190
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
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There are some books I find myself intending to read, but never getting around to it until I get a little push at some stage. I got my push with this book when Mom borrowed it from the library—what better time to read it than when we already have it? I’m so glad I did that; this has become my favorite middle-grade read of the year so far.

It took me no time at all to get into the story—and only a few pages to get to the point where I was trying to quell my laughter so I wouldn’t bother others while I read. Holling Hoodhood (which is such a clever name in itself) is the most perceptive, hilarious character, and some of the conclusions he comes to are…interesting, to say the least. The setting is delightful, and the glimpse into my grandparent’s time was fascinating. I loved Holling’s teacher, and his sister, hated his dad, and fell in love with middle-grade books all over again with this story.

In many ways, this isn’t an easy book. It deals with a somewhat dysfunctional family, the Vietnam War, and the hippie movement, and there’s a lot of growth in the main character and other characters throughout the story. This is a book about friendship, and how sometimes we have to sacrifice for others in order to make progress. And somehow, Schmidt pulls it all together into a gripping story.

I absolutely loved this story, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel at some stage. Deep, yet lighthearted (you can’t miss the part about the rats in the ceiling!), flavored with another time but still relatable, this is a book I’d gladly share with my siblings—I suspect it would become a family favorite if we read it together. Highly recommended! ( )
  EstherFilbrun | Feb 27, 2024 |
While I was reading this, one small detail bugged me. Why did Doug Swieteck get invited to the gym to meet the Yankees with Holling and Danny? What did Doug do to deserve that? Was it just so he wouldn't try #166 on Mrs. Baker? I feel like I must've missed something.

Anywho, I both really liked and kind of hated this book. Excepting Holling's family, most of the characters were kind of unbelievably earnest and emotional and pure. It made the story seem fake and dippy. But what it lacked in sarcasm, it almost made up for in good writing and a decent look at the life of a 7th grader in 1967 (air raid drills, Vietnam, hippies, etc.).

In the end, I think I'd only recommend this to 5th-8th graders who have to read historical fiction. It's definitely one of those kids' books that adults love, but actual kids...not so much. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
A delightful coming of age book with so many clever funny moments. Teenage boy narrators aren't always great, but this one is the perfect balance. A special book that will stay with you for sure. ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
When I first started reading this book, I had a hard time relating. As a 55+ year old mom, who even though we had smoking in our junior high bathrooms, (at least one), I still had a hard time relating to some of Holling's issues. This was another book that I took my time reading and did not rush through. The book began to grow on my the more I got into it and now I look forward to reading the next one.

I will say, even though the Vietnam War, and other issues of 1967 are mentioned, and I as well as others, have classified it as historical fiction, I honestly wish that there had been a little more included about the Vietnam War. Maybe who I would have related to more or would like to hear her story is actually Holling's sister. Yes, is part of the story, but I am interested in hearing more of her voice, why was Robert F. Kennedy so important to the youth of that day? Why were the young people so opposed to the war?

I realize that is not the story that Schmidt wrote. His perspective was that of the younger brother, but because of this book, the voice of the "flower children" is one that I would like to read more about. My oldest daughter was in high school when this book first came out and she recalls really enjoying reading it. I will need to share the sequel with her when I am finished with it.
  MarySchubert | Nov 19, 2023 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Gary D. Schmidtautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Johnstone, JoelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For Sally Bulthuis and Camille De Boer and for all the gentle souls of Pooh's Corner, who, with grace and wisdom and love, bring children and books together.
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Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun.
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During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

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