The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Holling Hoodhood is just starting seventh grade and already his teacher is out to get him or hates him. He is the only kid in his class that doesn't leave the class on Wed. afternoons. All the other kids go to Catechism classes or to Hebrew School. It's not his fault that he is Presbyterian and doesn't need to attend a special class out of school. Just because his teacher, Mrs. Baker, is used to having her Wednesdays free is no reason to be mad at him.
Mrs. Baker has a bad sense of humor when it comes to how Holling should spend his Wed. afternoons. First she starts out having him clean erasers outside, which isn't too bad unless the chalk that is coming from the erasers goes up in the air and reaches his classroom, which has newly baked cream puffs that are to go to the Wives of Vietnam Soldiers. Holling was hoping that everyone would think that there was just a lot of extra powered sugar on them. Alas, Holling gets in trouble again.
When Holling tries to talk to his parents, they aren't very sympathetic. Holling's dad is trying to get the building contract for the new Middle School. He warns Holling not to cause any trouble at school because he may ruin the contract for his father.
When he is asked to clean out the cage that has the class pets (rats), they escape and run around the classroom before running out of the room. It truly wasn't his fault that they escaped. He didn't want to clean the cage anyway.
Mrs. Baker decides that rather than have him do the erasers she'll have him learn Shakespeare.What seventh grade boy wants to learn Shakespeare? But after several weeks of spending time reading the first play that he is given, he realizes that it's not so bad. This Shakespeare Guy is actually OK.
As time goes on Holling finds more reasons that Mrs. Baker must hate him. It seems he can get into trouble without even trying.
This is a book that both boys and girls will enjoy reading. It has comedy, suspense and talks of friendship between him and his teacher, the girl that sits next to him in class,his sister,and the school bully.
I do recommend that you read this Rebecca Caudill nominee for 2009. Find out what the Wednesday Wars are all about.