Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Wednesday Wars, briefly

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
4Q 2P M/J

For a few reasons, I'm not going to try to write a full review of this book. Instead, I'm posting a few thoughts and reactions.

1) I think it's a book that, like the author's Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, will generally resonate more with adults than kids.

2) Some kids will really enjoy it.

3) The publisher did the book no favors with the cover design.

4) I love Mrs. Baker! She has got to go down as one of the best teachers in the annals of children's (YA included) literature.

5) Did I love Holling's dad? Yeah. Um. Not so much. And Mom needs a backbone for Christmas. (I think Santa might just see to that.)

5) Holling is a thoroughly likable kid. He's funny and sensitive. I enjoyed watching him mature throughout the book. My heart pinched a bit seeing just how perceptive he is about what is likely to be coming down the pike at the Perfect House. But I am confident that he's going to be just fine. (But probably not an architect.)

6) There are a couple of character arcs that I didn't quite buy. It's not that I didn't like where they wound up, it's just that I found the changes too fast and somewhat unlikely.

7) I'm a sap, again. The lump in my throat during the scene at the bus station was the size of a Granny Smith apple. It was back during the scene at the airport at the end. Frankly, from the bus station on, the lump was pretty much camping out right next to my tonsils.

8) I laughed, too.

Things I'll remember: yellow tights with feathers, skinned knees and sneakers, peace signs and face paint flowers, a lit candle, a gym that isn't empty, rats, Yankee Stadium, cream puffs, a dried up rose tied with a ribbon, strawberries.

(I shouldn't say "I'm a sap" when a book makes me emotional. That's what books should do. I think I need a new tag.)

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