Rebekah's Reviews > The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
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Jul 19, 11

bookshelves: lis-610, books-i-would-throw-against-a-wall
Read from July 17 to 19, 2011

A very interesting coming of age story, set in Vietnam early on. We watch this as this boys perfect house is rocked by culture clashes and a general lack of empathy for between the generations. Holling's dad expects him to grow into the family architecture firm. But Holling is in seventh grade and he has much bigger things to fear in the form of eighth grade bullies. As a presbyterian he does not have religious education on Wednesday afternoons and it becomes apparent the teacher doesn't like this intrusion on her planning time. It takes her a month before she decides to use this fir the boys advantage rather than using him as her lackey. She starts him reading Shakespeare and somehow chooses the plays that will matter to this young boy. He likes the curses in tempest and the battles in the other stories. And he grows into a man his father could be proud of if his father bothered to look up from the news.

This book was rather interesting. The main character doesn't fit in the town and certainly not in his family. His father is self-centered and mom is passive 50's housewife. Sister takes after her father except in politics. So OIl and water. And even his teacher seems to dislike him. Mostly because she doesn't get Wednesday afternoons off because he does't go to religious classes. (such and old custom)

The teacher slowly learns that this boy doesn't have to be a burden and though he has the typical american family he is not loved and cared for but rather forgotten like an old shoe. He only is noticed when he does something wrong. even his girlfriend engages in industrial espionage on their one date.

The Shakespeare aspects are great. Only in the 60s could you expect a young person to read Shakespeare independently.

The background of the VIetnam war was amazing, though I was very scared it was going to be very sad. I am glad that it comes out not tragic. It is all too possible. I loved the sister running away to find herself, while the brother find himself by staying home. He gains a voice and as all books of this ilk becomes closer to a man.
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