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The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt follows Holling Hoodhood through every month of his seventh-grade year at Camillo Junior High School. His teacher is Mrs. Baker and, when the year begins, Holling is absolutely certain that she hates him. As the year progresses, however, he begins to realize that is not true.
Early in December, Mr. Guareschi makes an announcement over the public address system:
[E]very junior and senior high school in the state would be taking the New York State Standardized Achievement Tests
in January. Even worse, he expects every student to take multiple practice exams over Christmas break, for he is certain that every student is as interested as he is in the reputation of their school. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you are Mr. Guareschi), Mrs. Baker feels nothing but disdain for these tests and refuses to give her students any of the practice tests to do over the holidays.
On the day before the tests are to be administered, the school has no electricity and the roads are all slick with snow and ice. Undaunted, the principal sends a memo that the tests will be given regardless, and every student is expected to be in attendance. The tests begin as scheduled, and the power (which includes light and heat) is restored during the lunch recess break. Poor Holling is not dressed for the change in temperature--but that is another story.
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