Friday, March 15, 2013

The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt
I have been trying to get my hands on this book for years.  Years.  In the end, I just ordered a copy for myself for Christmas, confident I wouldn't regret my purchase.  And I don't.

I will be reading this book out loud to my children.

It is a thing of brilliance.  It wears the shiny sticker for good reason.

My only hope is that your library has a copy, if you're not quite committed to forking out funds up front.  Failing that, fork the funds.
  • It is so wholesome.  Butts are called "you-know-whats."
  • And it feels so right that they are, because the conservative young protagonist and narrator's voice is not delivered in retrospect, but as a conservative young protagonist in the 60's.
  • For historical fiction, it is much more colourful, funny and engaging than you might expect.  The words "historical fiction" make me squirm a little.  If they do that to you, know that this text is incredibly enriched for it, not made dull. 
  • It is like The Wonder Years, only brilliant...and like I say, not told in flashback... 
  • feels like you are part of something live being shared with you, as though a seventh-grader dictated his journal entries to someone, and now you are reading the transcript.  And laughing.
  • I respect an author who can make every day things seem extraordinary and compelling.  It helps that the writing is fantastic.
  • The characters are so very very strong.
  • Everything isn't peachy in the portrait painted.  But unlike some other texts (where I think, "Why is this content in here?!"), there is a clear, exquisitely-delivered moral about the negative undercurrents presented (and these negatives presented tactfully -- unlike the adultery reference in The Princess Bride -- which is never countered, linked to a villain, or noted as immoral).
  • I think this novel appeals just as well to a discerning 10-year-old as an adult (and all in between).
Have you already read this?  I know many of you have.  Feel free to gush or disagree, below.
Janssen, thank you recommending it...and recommending it. 
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