The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things to worry about, especially Vietnam. Then there's the family business. As far as Holling's father is concerned, the Hoodhoods need to be on their best behavior: the success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? Rats, for one thing; cream puff, for another. Then there's Doug Swieteck's brother. And that's just for starters....
©2007 Gary D. Schmidt; (P)2007 Scholastic Inc.
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"2008 Newberry Honor Book... delightful 60's romp"
I kept thinking what fun it would be to listen to this while driving cross-country with a car load of middle school kids. Creative, interesting and just plain fun as you watch the relationship between Holling and Mrs Baker evolve over the course of the year as they explore the works of Shakespeare. Set in 1967 with all its political turmoil... Vietnam and Martin Luther King... Beatles and flower children. Nice job Mr. Schmidt!
"a year in the life of a 7th grader in 1967"
This is a story of one year in the life of Holling Hoodhood, a 7th Grade boy in 1967. There is no single plot to drive this story, but rather it's a series of interconnected anecdotes from that year. The writing is great and I enjoyed the stories and characters. The relationship between Holling and his teacher is central to the novel. Holling's father is a stereotypically conservative father of that era, and was almost too much. I liked how history is interwoven in this story. Also central - Shakespeare. Holling's teacher makes him read many plays. While I sort of enjoyed that as an adult, I had a hard time believing a 7th grade boy would connect so well with The Bard. I suspended my belief and chose to enjoy that, too, but I wonder how a 12 year old reader would relate to that. As a man who was 12 years old myself in 1967, this novel captured the era with heart and humor, and I liked it.
"Funny and well-written"
It is rare when an excellent book is combined with a suitably excellent narrator. I've listened to many books and this is one of the best narrators that I've listened to. He is perfect for the book because his Holling voice sounds young yet his vivid voices provides faces of the book characters.
A quick review in Amazon will show you that this is an excellent book to read, however, I think that it is even better to listen to it as an audiobook because of the wit and some of the Shakespeare lines.
Before I listened to the book I thought it was about smart alec kid who outwitted his teachers and I was previewing it for my son because it did get high reviews. It's not, it's about a kid who it just doing his best. Holling (our young protagonist) is a thoroughly well-rounded character who is Every Boy. During the book, his experiences with his teachers, friends and family mature him and we laugh at some of his missteps and thoughts along the way.
I highly recommend it.
"Great book for all ages"
This book surprised me. A 7th grade boy in 1968 going to school. It started out just as cute as I expected, but by the end it had turned into something much deeper. It addressed the social issues of Vietnam, religious prejudice, love of money over family, marriage and family relations, and reaching your potential. All of these were addressed in a way that a 7th grader and an adult could laugh and cry at. This is a great book. I will probably read this one with my kids on the next road trip. There is a lot to laugh about and a lot to talk about.
"I love this audiobook!"
The way Mrs. Baker took Holling under her wing and improved his life. I especially enjoyed Mrs. Baker taking him to the 1968 opening day game at Yankee stadium when his dad failed to show up.
Holling, of course. The story is about him. But Mrs. Baker shares the role of my favorite character.
After the game at Yankee stadium followed closely by the second escape of the rats. Oh, and Heather's return home.
Lieutenant Barker's telegram to Mrs. Baker.
Joel Jonhstone is a fabulous narrator. He was as good narrating Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.
I read lots of books intended for children and teens as I share my second childhood with my grandchildren's first. The Wednesday Wars has lots of very funny parts, but it also has some very serious aspects. The serious parts include the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Cold War fears and defense drills, and the Vietnam war. The novel is set in late 1967 and the first 6 months of1968 with Holling Hoodhod in the 7th grade with Mrs. Baker being his teacher.
This is a great story for children and adults.
"Funny and touching for all ages"
Adults as well as kids can enjoy this amusing book, especially if you remember 1968. The classic struggles of 7th grade are set against a changing world background. But some things, like the power of Shakespeare and of friendship are constant.
I usually don't enjoy books written for younger readers, but this one has enough mature elements to make it highly enjoyable.
"A Good Book for Youngsters"
This was a good book with a cute idea, but it got tedious to listen to. I taught 6th and 7th grade reading for a number of years, and read many of the greatest novels written for this age group. This is not one of the greatest, but I believe it would hold the interest of many children of that age. For me personally, I found my mind wandering often.
Although I can recommend it to young readers, i won't be going on my all-time favorites list.
"Fantastic book for kids and adults"
We still have about an hour left of this book and are SO wishing it wouldn't end. My daughters (7 and 11) have been listening with me in the car as we commute and there have been times I almost needed to pull off the road. I laughed so hard I was crying. Then there are poignant moments, so sweet and heart wrenching -- and I cried for them too. I'm not especially weepy; this is just a really good book. My daughters have already read a good bit of Shakespeare, but this inspired them to read more and go back to some favorites. They loved the Caliban curses: Toads, beetles, bats!
"Charming and funny"
I enjoyed this thoroughly. It is a charming and engaging story that lightened my mood considerably after having just listened to something very dark and disturbing with a bad narrator. Holling Hoodhood's adventures in seventh grade are told with such matter-of-fact honesty and engaging wry humor that you don't realize you're reading a coming-of-age story until you've finished it. Joel Johnstone did an excellent job and I'd happily listen to him read almost anything.
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