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In Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, I think one of the characteristics that best describes Hollis is "funny." Hollis is a funny and quirky kind of kid, in more than one way. He is "funny" in the sense of unusual. Mrs. Baker notices this right away because he needs to spend his Wednesdays with her when the Jewish kids go to Hebrew School and the Catholic kids go to Catechism. Mrs. Baker is not happy about having Holling in her room, but this will not last. However, at the outset, Holling is "funny" in that he stands out from the rest of the students with Mrs. Baker.
I personally find Holling "funny" because of his way of looking at things. He has a humorous outlook, and perhaps it is this that helps him deal with situations in his life that are of concern to him. First, he is sure Mrs. Baker hates him.
Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun...Me.
His ability to exaggerate (hate hotter than that of the sun...) is amusing, and he makes me not only want to laugh, but find out other ways in which he sees the world.
Holling's summation of love is funny, too:
Love and hate in seventh grade are not far apart, let me tell you.
At another point, Holling has the "funny" ability to try to put himself in the same situation as Mrs. Baker, though it doesn't work: he describes how he is feeling in the face of what he perceives as Mrs. Baker's hatred. (His ability to make me understand/remember being a kid, is also a part of "funny" that Holling is able to convey.)
And probably that's the same look that came over my face, since I felt the way you feel just before you throw up...If Mrs. Baker was feeling like she was going to throw up, too, she didn't show it.
Different people respond differently to worries or difficulties that present themselves. Holling has a way of using his humor to lighten things up and his ability to be "funny" may well to help him see things in a humorous light, while he takes his listener with him.
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