What were some events that changed Holling's character in The Wednesday Wars?

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The overarching "event" that most influences Holling's growing up is the concurrent war. He has to watch the effects of the war on his family and his teachers, and he learns how to sympathize with people, even though they may have a different perspective on the events in Vietnam. For...

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The overarching "event" that most influences Holling's growing up is the concurrent war. He has to watch the effects of the war on his family and his teachers, and he learns how to sympathize with people, even though they may have a different perspective on the events in Vietnam. For instance, he learns compassion and sympathy for his sister in the aftermath of her actions, such as running away. One event in particular matures him, when Mrs. Baker confirms that if an atomic bomb dropped on Camillo Junior High, that would be it. Everything, including the school and students in it, would be gone.

Three other events teach him perseverance: his being left alone with his teacher (not an event, per se, but close enough), the cream puffs, and the rats. Though each of these events is humorous, they each touch on a deeper issue, that of holding on and seeing the task to the end, despite unpleasant consequences.

Another event that forms Holling's character is reading The Merchant of Venice. Through analyzing the play he learns more about his father and what motivates him. Essentially, Holling learns to see his father in a new light and thereby understand him better.

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I think one "event" that changed Holling's character more than anything else was his time spent with Mrs. Baker.  Granted that's not one single event, but the time spent Mrs. Baker deeply affects Holling.  He learns to be a much more caring and supportive friend through her.  He learns what it is to empathize with other people.  He learns what it means to give selflessly of himself.  

One event that shows how Holling has changed is when his sister, Heather, ran away and got stranded.  Holling's parents were not willing to do anything, so it was Holling that had to rescue his sister.  

I think another critical event that helped shape Holling was his run in with Mickey Mantle.  Mantle is Holling's idol.  It makes sense, because Mantle is one of the greatest ball players to have ever played the game.  It makes sense that Holling thinks he would be a great person too.  Unfortunately Mantle is a jerk and rebuffs Holling at one point.  Crushed, Holling returns home with his friend Danny, but not until after Danny returns his autographed Mantle baseball in order to show his loyalty to Holling.   Holling learns what true loyalty looks like from his friends, not some former idol of his.  

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