A Wednesday Wars homeschool study is a great choice for your school year. Wednesday Wars has so much potential for discussion because of the historical setting, variety of characters, and more. From Shakespeare to the Vietnam War, there is plenty of discussion topics in this fantastic story.
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Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Length: 298 pages
First Published: 2009
Publisher’s Description of Wednesday Wars
“Seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood isn’t happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Holling’s domineering father is obsessed with his business image and disregards his family. Throughout the school year, Holling strives to get a handle on the Shakespeare plays Mrs. Baker assigns him to read on his own time, and to figure out the enigmatic Mrs. Baker. As the Vietnam War turns lives upside down, Holling comes to admire and respect both Shakespeare and Mrs. Baker, who have more to offer him than he imagined. And when his family is on the verge of coming apart, he also discovers his loyalty to his sister, and his ability to stand up to his father when it matters most.”
My Goodreads Review
Seventh grader, Holling Hoodhood, is certain that his teacher, Mrs. Baker, doesn’t like him and now he must spend every Wednesday afternoon with her while the rest of the class goes to religion classes. Mrs. Baker decides to make Holling spend his Wednesday class time reading and studying the works of Shakespeare. In the meantime, Holling is handling many of the typical problems of middle school such as siblings, parents, bullies, and embarrassment. In the midst of it all, Holling will learn more about himself and how to embrace the person he wants to become.
I love this book. The time period is 1967 and the backdrop of the Vietnam War is an important part of the story. The impact of the war on the lives of everyday Americans is seen throughout the story from bombing drills in school to loved ones in battle. The setting is reflected in subtle but powerful ways.
I love so many of the people in this story. There is so much richness and depth to all of the characters – not just the main character. Everyone is on their own personal journey of discovery and growth, providing plenty of topics for discussion with your kids.
Many of the students in my Outschool book clubs thought the book had a slow start, but most enjoyed it in the end even though many still found it slow. It’s true that this story doesn’t have a dramatic climax because this story is more about personal growth and change, but I think it is definitely a winner!
My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Wednesday War Book Club Ideas
There is no doubt that you will want to serve cream puffs! Label the box Goldman’s Bakery.
Play music from the 1960’s: The Beatles, The Monkees, Pete Sieger
Enjoy a few Vietnamese dishes. Either order carry-out or shop at a local Asian market and make your own.
Let the participants race around the blog or the yard. While they race, yell Shakespearean insults at them, such as, “Run faster, ya Pied Ninny.”
The Complete Book Club Guide for Wednesday Wars
This complete book club guide includes everything you need: 10 discussion questions, decorations ideas, themed food suggestions, crafts, and activities or games. You’ll have all of the ideas you need for a fantastic book club gathering as a family or with a few friends.
Wednesday Wars Discussion Questions for Your Homeschool Study
1. Holling calls his house, “The Perfect House.” Do you think this description is accurate? Is The Perfect House somewhere you would like to live?
2. This book takes place in the US during the Vietnam War. How does this impact the different characters in the story? (Think about: Mrs. Bigio, Mai Thi, Heather Hoodhood)
3. Does Holling’s relationship with his sister, Heather, seem realistic to you? Why or why not? Think about his relationship at both the beginning and end of the book. If you have siblings, are your relationships similar?
4. Did Gary D. Schmidt do a good job of creating a story that reflects the typical problems of middle school? Think about parent and sibling relationships, friendships, school situations, and teacher expectations
Homeschooling With Books: Discussion Questions To Help You Get Started
Grab this set of questions designed to facilitate a fantastic discussion about any book with your kids:
Helpful Links for Studying Wednesday Wars in Your Homeschool
Select a few extension activities that your children would enjoy.
Join MG Book Party for a podcast discussion with the author, Gary D. Schmidt.
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