Holling HoodHood is the only 7th grader in Camillo Junior High School not excused on Wednesday afternoons for religious lessons. Presbyterians don’t have special training, so he’s assigned to an extra hour every Wednesday afternoon with his English teacher, Mrs. Baker. In The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt documents those awkward, silly, touching, growing afternoons, from chalk dust powdered cream puffs to escaped rats, to reading Shakespeare together, and an unfortunate life lesson at the hands of Mickey Mantle. We also meet Holling’s ambitious father, budding Flower Child sister, and housewife Mom.
In this subtle historical, we see the Stateside 1967-1968 turmoil surrounding the Viet Nam War and its effects on the families it touched as well as the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Obviously in touch with his inner seventh grader, Mr. Schmidt has written a funny, tender, immensely readable historical suitable for seventh graders and their parents.