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Extended Audio Sample The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (13,002 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gary D. Schmidt Narrator: Joel Johnstone Publisher: Scholastic Inc Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Holling Hoodhood is really in for it. He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. 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. That’s just for starters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There are many strands in this story: the Vietnam War, air raid drills, missing soldiers, a classmate who is a Vietnamese refugee, a rescue, extreme humiliation, chalk-covered cream puffs, yellow tights with feathers in all the wrong places and a bully. In fact, so much happens I wondered whether all the seeds Schmidt planted could flower by the end. To his great credit, they do.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Schmidt…delivers another winner here, convincingly evoking 1960s Long Island, with Walter Cronkite’s nightly updates about Vietname as the soundtrack. The serious issues are leavened with ample humor, and the supporting cast—especially the wise and wonderful Mrs. Baker—is fully dimensional.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Johnstone brings to life one of the most endearing characters to come along in some time…Johnstone’s first-person narration perfectly captures Holling’s progression from an angst-filled yet innocent boy to a wiser, self-aware young man. His reading is touching, funny, and insightful; he manages to bring the listener back to a time—real or nostalgically reimagined, at least—when the crack of a bat against a ball in Yankee Stadium or sharing a Coke with a girl at the Woolworth’s counter was all any boy could want. This is a lovely, heartfelt novel, read with as much care as the author used to create it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “Schmidt…makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous. Seamlessly, he knits together the story’s themes: the cultural uproar of the ’60s, the internal uproar of adolescence, and the timeless wisdom of Shakespeare’s words. Holling’s unwavering, distinctive voice offers a gentle, hopeful, moving story of a boy who, with the right help, learns to stretch beyond the limitations of his family, his violent times, and his fear, as he leaps into his future with his eyes and his heart wide open.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This novel is funny, warm, sad, and touching all at the same time. Holling Hoodhood will live with the reader for a very long time after he finishes seventh grade and learns ‘to thine own self be true.’”

    VOYA

  • “This bittersweet novel set during the days of the Vietnam conflict, peace marches, racial protests, and flower children rivals the immortal Bard for tragedy and comedy…This story interweaves the issues of the period with grace and power, resulting in historical fiction both entertaining and endearing.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “Acclaimed author Schmidt’s warmth and understanding shine through on every page, along with his humor (one boy can ‘cuss the yellow off a school bus’) and his gift for creating memorable characters…Not to be missed—this is a marvelous read, both achingly funny and deeply affecting.”

    Kliatt

  • “Schmidt takes clichés such as perfect families, battle-ax teachers, and incorrigible students and makes them original. Joel Johnstone’s narration gains potency from his even voice and pacing. Moments poignant with lost chances for understanding, such as those between Holling’s father and sister, are as vivid as those of humor. Listen, laugh, cry, and marvel at the goodness of humankind.”

    AudioFile

  • “Schmidt has a way of getting to the emotional heart of every scene without overstatement, allowing the reader and Holling to understand the great truths swirling around them on their own terms. It’s another virtuoso turn by the author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Comic, colorful, lyrical, and philosophical at just the right moments…this graceful novel is full of goodwill, yearning and heart, and serves as a growth chart for Holling, recording his increasing depth. The Wednesday Wars also gently reminds readers to take constant measure, as Shakespeare and Holling do, of what it means to be human.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the Newbery Honor in 2008
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2007
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jenny Wheelbarrow | 2/20/2014

    " Loved the story of Holling Hoodhood. What an unfortunate name, right? Hoodhood is forced to sit with his teacher every Wednesday because he is the only Presbyterian at school. Every Wednesday afternoon his classmates attend catechism and bar/bat mitzvah classes. His teacher is my hero. She faces each Wednesday with the stoic face of a stern teacher, but the heart of a giant. Hoodhood is "forced" to read Shakespeare and finds out he actually likes Shakespeare. Along the way, I fell in love with how Shakespeare's plays and lessons mirrored Hoodhood's life and offered him comfort. You will fall in love with Holling, his teacher, and his friends. You will cheer for them all and want them to be your child's friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Angelina | 2/14/2014

    " This book was amazing, especially as I want to teach. I think my favorite thing is that while the author shows how the student is trying to relate Shakespeare to his life, he doesn't do the heavy-handed thing Stephanie Meyer does in New Moon and Eclipse. It is much more subtle. Note: The main character's name drove me NUTS, so I mentally nicknamed him H. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Libraryangel | 1/29/2014

    " This is an amazing book. Do something good for yourself today and read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shelby Troutman | 1/29/2014

    " This book helps to show you are learning valuable ideas even when you don't see it. Shows an interesting relationship between students and teacher. "

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