Monday, November 14, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Wednesday Wars

I've had The Wednesday Wars on my mind for awhile, and even though Jennifer Rumberger highlighted this book a few weeks ago, I am compelled to share about it too. Because when a book causes my son to ask, "Mom, where's your book of all Shakespeare's plays?" followed by "I want to read some of them," (and when I find it, he reads some of them), I know I need to read that book too. And that book is, of course, Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars.

The premise: In the fall of 1967, Holling Hoodhood (what an awesome name for a character, right?) starts 7th grade, and things are a bit rocky. Holling's teacher has it in for him (she makes him--and only him--read Shakespeare), and his dad says the future of Hoodhood and Associates depends on Holling's good behavior (and it's hard to be good with rats, cream puffs, and a sister around). Not to mention the Vietnam War is infiltrating even Holling's life.

What keeps readers reading: The humor mixed with the super-serious. Gary D. Schmidt leads readers through Holling Hoodhood's school year. Each chapter in The Wednesday Wars represents a month of his 7th grade year. And during that school year, Holling learns more than he ever thought he could learn and becomes more than he ever thought he could be. Readers are challenged to do the same--all while being challenged to brush up on their Shakespeare.

One part humor and one part history, The Wednesday Wars is one whole awesome.

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Happy middle grade reading!   

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for spotlighting this again. Nothing wrong with that. Your sons comments say it all about how good this book is. Thanks.

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  2. I'm extremely curious about how he came up with the main character's name. Another historical book that I might have to look into probably because of the vietnam war ;)

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  3. Great review, Barbara. It's been a while since I read this, but I do remember enjoying the humor and the Shakespeare.

    Good for your son for wanting to read the real thing after reading this.

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  4. I love books for kids that refer to Shakespeare - such a great way to get young readers curious. I'll have to check this out.

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  5. I have this one but haven't read it yet. Now I want to move it up the list! :-)

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  6. It is a marvelous book, and to continue part of the story, read Okay For Now. Equally good, and this time about Audubon and art, and one of the boys again. Poignant stories. (I'm glad to hear about your son and the influence too.

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  7. I think this was my first MMGM review, a while back now. I loved it as much as you did!

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  8. Great review, Barbara! The Wednesday Wars can never be reviewed enough! :) I hope to read Okay For Now soon, it's towards the top of my to-read pile. (Oh, and thanks for the shout-out!)

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  9. I must have missed the other review b/c I'm hearing about this for the first time. (see? it's good to repeat books from other reviewers!)

    I agree - a book that motivated kids to pick up Shakespeare is one to check out, indeed. And I like what you say about the combination of humour and seriousness. I'm assuming the Vietnam War backdrop has something to do with that?

    Going on my to read list!

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  10. How perfect a read for you right now...;)

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  11. Glad you loved this one...me too. And if you have not read Okay For Now, add it to you list!

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