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Can I just write a blanket review for everything Gary D. Schmidt has ever written? It would involve lots of OMG and YES and crying emojis. A companion novel for Okay for Now (maybe you’ve heard me mention how much I love that book 99 million times? Perhaps? I can do it again if that would help), The Wednesday Wars tells the story of Holling Hoodhood, son of an architect, brother of a self-proclaimed flower child, student of the inimitable Mrs. Baker. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Holling is stumbling through middle school – not Catholic, not Jewish, not poor, not rich, but perpetually in-between. When his religious classmates spend their afternoons in their respective buildings of worship, Holling is the only student left behind with Mrs. Baker, the tough and stoic teacher that helps him to learn more than just Shakespeare. This book is hilarious and heartbreaking in that trademark Gary D. Schmidt way. The context of the time in history comes alive through Holling and his community. I’ve met a lot of great underdogs in my reading adventures, but no one can paint an unsung hero like Schmidt. Holling Hoodhood will join Doug Swieteck in my hall of fame. Stop reading this and go read something by Gary D. Schmidt instead.
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