Five adjectives about The Wednesday Wars.

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edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gary Schmidt's 2009 young adult novel The Wednesday Wars was nominated for at least two prestigious literary awards.  Here are five adjectives that can be used to describe it, with a rationale for each.

  1. The novel is humorous. When Holling's teacher forces him to read Shakespeare's The Tempest, he loves it. He figures that she has not read it herself, since it has murders, witches, a monster, and includes people drinking themselves drunk.
  2. The novel is realistic. It is set during the Vietnam War, and Schmidt takes pains to recreate the 1960s.  Walter Cronkite appears on the television news, announcing the numbers of soldiers killed each day.
  3. The novel is poignant.  It traces some common setbacks and problems that adolescent boys experience, such as finding a place to fit in with other people.
  4. Some of the scenes in the novel are surprising. Holling's father, a successful architect, is not a very nice man or caring father.  He neglects Holling and his sister and frequently lets them down. 
  5. The novel is ambitious.  Schmidt creates many different story lines; some are about family, some are about school relationships with peers and teachers, and some are about religious differences. All occur against the backdrop of an unpopular war.  Schmidt is able to balance all the competing narratives and bring them together effectively.
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The Wednesday Wars

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