At the end of the summer, our school librarian — knowing how much I enjoy reading young adult literature — came to me with a must-read recommendation. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt was in her hand and extended toward me as she said, “You’ll love it.”
Well, she was right. This Simpsonsesque novel, like the popular television series, guides the reader back and forth from young adult readers identifying with seventh grader Holling Hoodhood to adult readers enjoying the life of his family, Shakespeare, the Cold War, and the New York Yankees. A month a chapter, Holling grows up quickly in one year — 1967. I will read pages 75 to 81 to our middle school students to give them a taste of this wonderful book.
What I loved was how Schmidt wove works of the Bard with teaching, family life in the 60s, and the life of middle school students. He really captures it all. Read the NYTimes review if you want, but if you are a parent of a preadolescent, or teach middle school, or love the Simpsons, grab The Wednesday Wars. You’ll love it.