Schmidt, Gary D. The Wednesday Wars. New York: Clarion Books, 2007.
Life is tough for Holling Hoodhood. He’s the only Presbyterian in his class, and even though he lives in the Perfect House on the Perfect Street his life is far from perfect. For starters, his father insists that Holling must inherit the family business because Holling is The Son Who is Going to Inherit Hoodhood and Associates. Secondly, he may never survive the seventh grade. His classmates are making death threats against him and his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him.
The story has an excellent voice with a sense of self-deprecating humor. Schmidt quickly establishes a rapport between the reader and Holling in this coming of age story set during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. The story humanizes history and slips the reader into the shoes of a boy trying to gain acceptance at school, impress the pretty girl, and manage tensions at home between his conservative father and his flower-child sister. He makes sense of his world through reading Shakespeare, assigned by Mrs. Baker, running cross country, and learning that heroes aren’t always the people that you’d first expect. Sometimes the biggest heroes are all around you quietly pushing you to succeed and if you aren’t careful you might never see them at all.
– Source for choosing this book: Booklist Starred Review
– Grades 6-9
– Related Book: Couloumbis, Audrey. Summer’s End. New York: Putnam, 2005. Found in Booklist. Both books are stories about a kid in middle school during the Vietnam war and the family conflicts that are the result of differing stances on war.