Megan's Reviews > The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
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's review
Jan 04, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

I read this book anticipating a light-hearted novel about a 7th-grader in Vietnam War-era America. I wasn't disappointed - I laughed and laughed and laughed. I was surprised by how much depth the novel had, though, as it deals with issues like wartime prejudice. Rated G.

I can't really do this book justice in my review, so I'm including an excerpt:

"And then, suddenly, there he was. Doug Swieteck's brother, on the other side of Camillo Junior High, waiting for a school bus to turn the corner so that he could grab on to its bumper and have it pull him along on the icy roads.

"It was what eighth graders whose career goal was the state penitentiary did.

"The school buses were driving around town even though no cars were because Mr. Guareschi was principal of Camillo Junior High, and Mr. Guareschi wouldn't have let the school close right before the New York State Standardized Achievement Tests even if the Soviet Union had started raining atomic bombs on the entire east coast of the United States. I heard that from Mr. Petrelli himself, and it's probably true.

"So the buses were driving on ice, and they all pulled in late, and you only had to look at the drivers' faces to see they were all mad at Mr. Guareschi. I figured that the only one who was happy in the whole school was Mr. Ludema, Doug Swieteck's brother's teacher, because Doug Swieteck's brother stayed out until the last bus came in.

"But even if Mr. Guareschi could control the school buses like the dictator of a small country, he couldn't control the Long Island Power Company, which that morning was spending its time not giving electricity to most of its customers---including Camillo Junior High. You couldn't have raised a spark of electricity anywhere. Any light that came into the classrooms was from the windows, and on a day of gray tattered clouds, that wasn't much.

"So we sat in the half-dark, in our coats, in the cold."

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