The Wednesday Wars (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Wednesday Wars (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.2 271
by Gary D. Schmidt

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This Newbery Honor tale is now in paperback!

Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.
He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class?
The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There’s Vietnam for


This Newbery Honor tale is now in paperback!

Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.
He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class?
The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There’s Vietnam for one thing, and then there’s the family business. As far as Holling’s father is concerned, nothing is more important than the family business. In fact, all of the Hoodhoods must be on their best behavior at all times. The success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has Mrs. Baker to contend with?

Gary D. Schmidt is the author of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. His most recent novel is The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Editorial Reviews

While all his classmates are enjoying (?) religious instruction, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood shares Wednesday afternoons with Mrs. Baker, his Camillo Junior High teacher. Not surprisingly, Holling lacks enthusiasm for mid-week appointments with an instructor who assigns him Shakespeare as out-of-class reading. Holling has other things on his mind besides English Renaissance drama. For his dad's sake, he's trying hard to stay out of trouble, but with hovering bullies and other impinging crises, that seems to be a full-time job. Fortunately, help arrives from an unexpected source. Another funny yet gripping novel from the author of Lizzie Bright and The Buckminster Boy.

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Read an Excerpt


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. Me.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t for anything I’d done.
If it had been Doug Swieteck that Mrs.
Baker hated, it would have made sense. Doug Swieteck once made up a list of 410 ways to get a teacher to hate you. It began with “Spray deodorant in all her desk drawers” and got worse as it went along. A whole lot worse. I think that things became illegal around Number 167.
You don’t want to know what Number 400 was, and you really don’t want to know what Number 410 was. But I’ll tell you this much: They were the kinds of things that sent kids to juvenile detention homes in upstate New York, so far away that you never saw them again. Doug Swieteck tried Number 6 on Mrs.
Sidman last year. It was something about Wrigley gum and the teachers’ water fountain (which was just outside the teachers’ lounge) and the Polynesian Fruit Blend hair coloring that Mrs.
Sidman used. It worked, and streams of juice the color of mangoes stained her face for the rest of the day, and the next day, and the next day—until, I suppose, those skin cells wore off.
Doug Swieteck was suspended for two whole weeks. Just before he left, he said that next year he was going to try Number 166 to see how much time that would get him.
The day before Doug Swieteck came back, our principal reported during Morning Announcements that Mrs. Sidman had accepted “voluntary reassignment to the Main Administrative Office.” We were all supposed to congratulate her on the new post. Butit was hard to congratulate her because she almost never peeked out of the Main Administrative Office. Even when she had to be the playground monitor during recess, she mostly kept away from us. If you did get close, she’d whip out a plastic rain hat and pull it on.
It’s hard to congratulate someone who’s holding a plastic rain hat over her Polynesian Fruit Blend–colored hair.
See? That’s the kind of stuff that gets teachers to hate you. But the thing was, I never did any of that stuff. Never. I even stayed as far away from Doug Swieteck as I could, so if he did decide to try Number 166 on anyone, I wouldn’t get blamed for standing nearby.
But it didn’t matter. Mrs. Baker hated me. She hated me a whole lot worse than Mrs. Sidman hated Doug Swieteck. I knew it on Monday, the first day of seventh grade, when she called the class roll—which told you not only who was in the class but also where everyone lived.
If your last name ended in “berg” or “zog” or “stein,” you lived on the north side. If your last name ended in “elli” or “ini” or “o,” you lived on the south side. Lee Avenue cut right between them, and if you walked out of Camillo Junior High and followed Lee Avenue across Main Street, past MacClean’s Drug Store, Goldman’s Best Bakery, and the Five & Ten-Cent Store, through another block and past the Free Public Library, and down one more block, you’d come to my house—which my father had figured out was right smack in the middle of town.
Not on the north side. Not on the south side. Just somewhere in between. “It’s the Perfect House,” he said.
But perfect or not, it was hard living in between. On Saturday morning, everyone north of us was at Temple Beth-El. Late on Saturday afternoon, everyone south of us was at mass at Saint Adelbert’s—which had gone modern and figured that it didn’t need to wake parishioners up early. But on Sunday morning—early—my family was at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church listening to Pastor McClellan, who was old enough to have known Moses. This meant that out of the whole weekend there was only Sunday afternoon left over for full baseball teams.
This hadn’t been too much of a disaster up until now. But last summer, Ben Cummings moved to Connecticut so his father could work in Groton, and Ian MacAlister moved to Biloxi so his father could be a chaplain at the base there instead of the pastor at Saint Andrew’s—which is why we ended up with Pastor McClellan, who could have called Isaiah a personal friend, too. So being a Presbyterian was now a disaster. Especially on Wednesday afternoons when, at 1:45 sharp, half of my class went to Hebrew School at Temple Beth-El, and, at 1:55, the other half went to Catechism at Saint Adelbert’s.
This left behind just the Presbyterians—of which there had been three, and now there was one.
I think Mrs. Baker suspected this when she came to my name on the class roll.
Her voice got kind of crackly, like there was a secret code in the static underneath it.
“Holling Hoodhood,” she said.
“Here.” I raised my hand.
“Hoodhood.” “Yes.” Mrs. Baker sat on the edge of her desk.
This should have sent me some kind of message, since teacherss areeeen’t supposed to sit on the edge of their desks on the first day of classes. There’s a rule about that.
“Hoodhood,” she said quietly. She thought for a moment. “Does your family attend Temple Beth-El?” she said.
I shook my head.
“Saint Adelbert’s, then?” She asked this kind of hopefully.
I shook my head again.
“So on Wednesday afternoon you attend neither Hebrew School nor Catechism.” I nodded.
“You are here with me.” “I guess,” I said.
Mrs. Baker looked hard at me. I think she rolled her eyes. “Since the mutilation of “to guess” into an intransitive verb is a crime against the language, perhaps you might wish a full sentence to avoid prosecution-—something such as, ‘I guess that Wednesday afternoons will be busy after all.’”

That’s when I knew that she hated me. This look came over her face like the sun had winked out and was not going to shine again until June.
And probably that’s the same look that came over my face, since I felt the way you feel just before you throw up—cold and sweaty at the same time, and your stomach’s doing things that stomachs aren’t supposed to do, and you’re wishing—you’re really wishing—that the ham and cheese and broccoli omelet that your mother made for you for the first day of school had been Cheerios, like you really wanted, because they come up a whole lot easier, and not yellow.
If Mrs. Baker was feeling like she was going to throw up too, she didn’t show it. She looked down at the class roll.
“Mai Thi Huong,” she called. She looked up to find Mai Thi’s raised hand, and nodded. But before she looked down, Mrs.
Baker looked at me again, and this time her eyes really did roll. Then she looked down again at the roll. “Daniel Hupfer,” she called, and she looked up to find Danny’s raised hand, and then she turned to look at me again. “Meryl Lee Kowalski,” she called. She found Meryl Lee’s hand, and looked at me again. She did this every time she looked up to find somebody’s hand. She was watching me because she hated my guts.

I walked back to the Perfect House slowly that afternoon. I could always tell when I got there without looking up, because the sidewalk changed.
Suddenly, all the cement squares were perfectly white, and none of them had a single crack. Not one. This was also true of the cement squares of the walkway leading up to the Perfect House, which were bor

Meet the Author

Gary D. Schmidt is the author of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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The Wednesday Wars 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 272 reviews.
JZlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
The wednesday wars is a mixture of love/comdedy/shakespeare/life lessons.
this is definetly on my list of top 5 books.there were times in the book that had me laughing so hard.the characters were wonderful.if you like a book that will make you laugh and cry at the same time please read the wednesday wars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book and it taught me that you won't always have good days
jadaykennedy More than 1 year ago
How many times have you thought a teacher designed her assignments as an attempt to torture you? Holling is certain Mrs.' Baker has this agenda. Maybe there were times she did in the beginning, but secretly he ended up enjoying working with her one-on-one. In fact he learns his teacher is almost human. Set in the turbulent 1960's the book throws readers into the era of flower children, Vietnam, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy's assassination. The book lacks the umph factor to grab the reluctant reader, but children that enjoy a bit of history in their fiction and adults that grew up during this time will appreciate how Schmidt seams the two together. The humor and cultural tidbits alone make me happy to highly recommend this book. Newbery Honor Book. 2007
Julie Ann Benison More than 1 year ago
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this to my middle-school kids. My daughter is reading Shakespeare (story form) because she loves this book so much. It might be a perfect book. It certainly will be a family favorite.
Zanto More than 1 year ago
My favorite book (thats why i gave it 5 stars)! But if you're going to buy it, don't take my word for it. I'm only 12.
Bhanu Veragur More than 1 year ago
I love this book and everybody will too. It has a lot of baseball, even though I do not play it, I love the book
Communism More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was is 7th grade and absolutely loved it. I reread it when I was in 10th and it's still one of my favorite books!
AmyCCBYU More than 1 year ago
The Wednesday Wars is an insightful and entertaining young adult novel. It follows the story of Holling Hoodhood, a boy in seventh grade in 1967. He is crushed to discover that he has to study Shakespeare with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, every Wednesday. She insists on having him read some of his greatest plays, such as The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. With each reading, Hoodhood discovers that they are not old and boring. They provide him with insight on life. The Tempest offers some choice curses that he uses against an intimidating eighth grader. Romeo gives him advice on love, which he uses to woo his crush, Meryl Lee. The author, Gary Schmidt, constructs a quick and fun read that reminds the reader that Shakespeare knew how to create relatable and perceptive characters. Schmidt also explores the time period of the late sixties and shows the reader how the Vietnam War must have seemed to a seventh grade boy. Hoodhood's sister decides she wants to be a flower child, and their entire family watches the devastation of Vietnam on the television every night. He even has a Vietnamese friend at school that receives harsh treatment. With unexpected turns and twists, this novel teaches the reader while providing them with a fun read. I truly enjoyed reading this novel, and it is one that I would highly recommend for individuals of any age. It reminds you of what it is like to be a kid, with the excitement of rats on the loose at school and the embarrassment of being in a school play. It also gives a new look on the idea of war, politics, love, and business by having a young boy relate the events. Schmidt is an excellent writer, and I love this book. As I am currently studying to become a secondary English teacher, I feel that this would be a perfect book for junior high students. It may even give them an appreciation for Shakespeare.
Kidzmom More than 1 year ago
This book was a good book for Young Adult readers. I liked that the boy related Shakespeare to life. I liked the compassion from his teacher along with high expectations. It was a very positive portrayal of the characters. Even his parents came off better than they should have.
Living_Water More than 1 year ago
I laughed,rolled my eyes (in a way of of familiarity of the situations),felt pity all while reading the Wednesday Wars. I love this book because it's very much the same to the things we encounter today unless your older sister claims she's a flower child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. The author has a great sense of humor and it is still funny today even though it was written a long time ago. The book is also very heartwarming, especially the parts about his sister later on in the book. Definitely one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very interesting and good. My favorite part is when Holling's class gets to eat cream puffs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Epic greatness
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U guys shiuldnt hate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book for early teens. Not only are the characters relatable(especially Holling), but there are a lot of subjects in the book that can lead to other interests outside of this books....such as the Vietnam War, Bobby Kennedy, the riots at Columbia University, and Shakespeare. It's a bit heavy at times, but the humor in it balances it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i finished the book (my comment is below) amd it was awesome!!! i couldnt put it down!! YAAAAY!!! :P -Lauren
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book in school, and I thought is was going to be an awful book, turns out I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I LOVED this book!
Michelle Roseman More than 1 year ago
Great book. Even if you don't like reading you will still love this book!
Book_Worm_1998 More than 1 year ago
I like that this book takes place in the late 60's, and a lot of the events are ones that I have learned about. Every Wednesday afternoon, he has to stay at school with his teacher, while other kids go to church. This is when Holling reads poems by Shakespeare, which his teacher thinks will bore him to death. Holling's thoughts and feelings change when he reads famous poems by Shakespeare. He can relate to Romeo and Juliet because of a girl named Meryl Lee, and he starts to think about things in relation to poems by Shakespeare. Great Book!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidnt is a great book i wouldnt say my favorite but i do really enjoy it expessialy thre charecters.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I enjoyed reading this book but i still dont understand why holling and his family call everything about their house perfect. Other than that very good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my Languge arts class. It was a good book. But, CAUTION! THERE ARE ALOT OF SHAKESPERE CUSS WORDS!!! $&*# Other than that.. its an awesome booke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago