The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt

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The chapter begins and ends with Holling walking down the hallway and everyone smiling at him. How are the two situations the same? How are they different?

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At the beginning of the January chapter of The Wednesday Wars when Holling walks along the hallway at school, he's horrified to discover painted pictures of himself in the fetching yellow fairy costume posted up all over the place. Wherever Holling goes, the other students smile at him—and not in a good way, either. Thanks to Danny, Holling's role as Ariel has been made public, causing him no small amount of embarrassment. His mother had assured him that one one would see the picture on the front page of the Home Town Chronicle. She was wrong, and now Holling is so embarrassed at seeing his picture everywhere that he seriously contemplates switching to a military school.

By the end of the chapter, however, things have changed completely. This time, the other students hail Holling as a hero for his selfless actions in pushing Heather out of the way of an oncoming school bus. Once again, photos from the front page of the Home Town Chronicle have been posted up all around the school; they're not of Holling in his embarrassing fairy costume but of his flying through the air like Superman to save Heather's life.

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