How do you say "Hoodhood"? I am reading The Wednesday Wars and my reading group is having a dispute about how to say it.

Expert Answers
liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That's an interesting debate! Since "Hoodhood" is the main character's last name as well as part of his father's company's name, I agree that it's important to know how to pronounce it correctly. 

Sources like this one suggest that you say "HOOD hood," putting the emphasis on the first syllable (like you do when you say "Johnson" and "Summers") and pronouncing both syllables just like the word "hood," as in the hood of a sweatshirt. (Just rhyme it with "could" and "should.") If you visit that link, you can play the audio pronunciation of the name.

Joel Johnstone, the voice actor who reads this novel in the widely available audio version, also pronounces "Hoodhood" as I just described. That's a good indication that we've found the right way to say this name.

The best way to be sure, though, would be to ask someone named Hoodhood! Now, you might wonder if this is impossible if you suspect that the author made up the name "Hoodhood" as a way of characterizing Holling as a bit quirky. But it's a real name. According to Forbears.io, the surname "Hoodhood" is the 1,999,413th most common in the world (compared to, for example, "Smith," the 117th most common). The site estimates that only about 35 people bear "Hoodhood" as a last name. Like I said, the best way to figure out how to pronounce this name is to ask someone who has it. But unfortunately for us, the statistics I just mentioned make it very unlikely that we know a Hoodhood personally.