Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Big Reads: The Wednesday Wars

I think I heard about The Wednesday Wars first on Janssen's blog, Everyday Reading. Then she was on my favorite podcast, What Should I Read Next? and mentioned it in episode 10. (Seriously - listen to that podcast if you aren't already.)

The Wednesday Wars is a middle grade novel about Holling Hoodhood, the only kid in his class who isn't Catholic or Jewish. This is significant because every Wednesday afternoon all the Catholic kids went to catechism and all of the Jewish kids went to Hebrew school, leaving Holling the only kid left in class with his teacher, Mrs. Baker. After giving Holling meaningless tasks to fill up the time, Mrs. Baker decides to introduce Holling to Shakespeare.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but it's set during the Vietnam War where families gathered around their TV every night to hear war updates and listen for friends and family members names. Holling's older sister claims to be a flower child. Mrs. Baker's husband is in Vietnam. Holling's dad is an architect who relates every action to how it will affect his business - a business he hopes to pass on to Holling one day. There's food and rats and running and family and friends and camping and Shakespeare.

The plays weave effortlessly through Holling's story and this is sure to be a hit with any Shakespeare lover. It certainly made me realize that I'm not familiar enough with The Bard. That's now my next challenge - reading Shakespeare (I think I've only ever read Romeo and Juliet. At least, that's the only one we had to read in high school.)

The Wednesday Wars was great. 10/10 would recommend. Have you read it?

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