The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt

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How would you describe Mrs. Baker, including her age, physical description, and character traits in The Wednesday Wars?

Expert Answers

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Mrs. Baker is a middle school teacher who appears strict at first. For example, she corrects Holling Hoodhood's grammar and forces him to read Shakespeare. She clearly has high standards and expects a great deal from her students with regard to their behavior and academic performance. She is the kind of teacher who likes her erasers neat, and she orders Holling to clap the dust out of them. She is, underneath her cool exterior, a very caring teacher who takes Holling to the hospital when he is hit by a bus while saving his sister from being hit.

Her family owns Baker Sports Emporium, and Mrs. Baker is a sports fan. She announces that Micky Mantle, a famous baseball player, is going to appear at her family's store, and she takes Holling to Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. She is married to Lieutenant Baker, who is sent as part of the 101st Airborne Division to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. She betrays no hint of fear or worry in front of her students when her husband goes missing (he is later found).

Interestingly, the author does not mention Mrs. Baker's appearance or age, but it might be assumed that she is fairly young, as there is no mention of her having kids and her husband is serving in Vietnam. It might also be assumed, based on her personality, that she has a very neat, proper appearance.

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