Review: Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

5 out of 5 stars

“The quality of mercy is not strained.”

Oh gosh. I loved this book. An enjoyable middle-school historical novel set in Long Island in 1967 during the Vietnam Wars. I haven’t read a lot of those and I’m very glad I came across this one. Not only does this one has plenty of LOL moments, it’s also the kind of book that’ll genuinely make you smile and even make you want to ponder about life. We need more books like this. The cover alone already makes me feel all sorts of warm and light. The rats definitely played a huge role in the story. So hilarious!

“Teachers bring up Shakespeare only to bore students to death. And I was going to be bored to death for eight months. No human being could stand it.”

It’s actually a little kind of reading a more mature Diary of A Wimpy Kid minus the drawings but Wednesday Wars is a bit more structured in a sense that Holling Hoophoop has one specific hell of a nemesis in the person of his teacher, Mrs. Baker who concocts different ways to torture Holling (being a Presbyterian) every Wednesdays during which he is left alone with his tormentor in the classroom while rest of the students went to church.

“But it turned out that Mrs. Baker’s strategy didn’t work after all! She had wanted to bore me to death, even though she said that she didn’t- which was all part of the strategy. But the Merchant of Venice was okay.”

Her “evil plots” however make Holling a Shakespeare fan, enabling him to recite random lines from the plays including curse lines (lol) and even ending up in a holiday play of the Tempest as Ariel the fairy.

“That’s the Teacher Gene at work, giving its bearer an extra sense. It’s a little frightening. Maybe that’s how people decide to become teachers. They have that extra sense, and once they have it, and know they have it, they don’t have any choice except to become a teacher.”

And as it turned out, the nemesis he painted Mrs. Baker to be isn’t really the villain in the story. There’s also a subtle message of the evils of war and how it’s always the innocent suffering its evil effects. There’s Mai Thi, the lone Vietnamese student in school amassing all the ugly things said about “Vietcongs” and all that. There are the wives of the American soldiers in the characters of Mrs. Baker and Mrs Bigio and that scene where Mrs. Bigio said sorry to Mai Thi made me cry a little. Okay, a lot. What a lovely little story. 

Published by AJ

Hi! I'm Aj from the Philippines. Obviously I love to read and write and from years of experience I have learned that when you love something so much, you would do it absolutely for free so here I am writing stuff for all people to see in the hopes that at least one or maybe two souls could benefit or get little inspiration from what they will read from this blog. Enjoy and spread the love! ;)

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