When I finished, my first thought? "Oh my goodness, that was delightful." Imagine Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine (in all it's poetical glory...I do love that book) meets The Sandlot (in all it's youthful hilarity...a classic). And that's The Wednesday Wars - and so much more. Schmidt describes the world as seen through the eyes of Holling Hoodhood, a seventh grade boy with a heart of gold. Mix in baseball (and of course the Yankees...we'll forgive Holling that since he is from Long Island), some Shakespeare (brilliant parallels here, from the plays' many insights as applied to Holling's own life), and a little bit of cross country running, and that about sums up the novel. Not to mention some rats, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Seems random...but it's not.
Really, what is most amazing, besides Schmidt's prose, is the way he weaves it all together through the voice of a young man...and a quite charming and insightful young man at that. I think I fell in love with Holling. Seriously, what a delightful read. I highly recommend.