During your time of forced togetherness, consider this family read-aloud for older children. Parents and teens will enjoy the adventures of Holling Hood Hood in “The Wednesday Wars.”
It’s 1967, and Holling Hood Hood is in for a rough year. His teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. It’s not like he’s a troublemaker like Doug Swieteck, famous for keeping a list of 401 ways to torture teachers or Doug Swieteck’s brother who had visited three police stations in two states and once spent a night in jail. Holling Hood Hood is just trying to stay out of trouble.
And the school year only gets worse. On Wednesday afternoon half the class is dismissed early for Hebrew instruction and the other half attend Catholic instruction, leaving Holling alone with the teacher who “hates” him. And it’s not like she’s going to give him a break like most teachers would. She has decided that they will read Shakespeare together “for fun.”
So Holling Hood Hood begins his tale of gloom and doom in the seventh grade.
While this story is set in the sixties, today’s teens will relate to young Holling struggles with bullies who demand cream puffs, first love, and two evil rats, Caliban and Sycorax., (named after monsters in “The Tempest.”)
“Let me tell you it’s a pretty hard thing to be a seventh-grader with new death threats hanging over you every day.”
Holling Hood Hood in “The Wednesday Wars.”
Surprisingly, Holling enjoys Shakespeare. He agrees to be in the community theatre production of”The Tempest” never realizing that means wearing yellow tights with white feathers on the butt. This is bad enough on the stage, but when his dressing room is locked, he is forced to meet his idol, Yankees baseball player, Mickey Mantle, while wearing his fairy costume (with white feathers on the butt.) He then returns to school, to find pictures of himself as Ariel the Fairy posted all over the school.
Holling’s melodramatic narration is reminiscent of “The Wonder Years.” There are many laugh-out movements and some poignant scenes as well.
“Okay for Now” is a companion book to The Wednesday Wars. It features Holling’s friend and known troublemaker, Doug Switeck, as he moves to a new town and tries to change his image as a thug.
The Wednesday Wars is available on Libby, free from your public library’s website. https://librarianlou.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/now-is-the-time-for-e-books/