The Wednesday Wars

by Gary Schmidt
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What does Mrs. Bigio do for Holling in February?

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In February, Mrs. Bigio not only bakes cupcakes for the whole school, but she also gives Holling two tickets to see the play Romeo and Juliet. She has a special theater membership that entitles her to go to every show that season, she explains, but she won't be able to go to that particular show and doesn't want the tickets to go to waste. (We don't know if that's true or not. Mrs. Bigio could just be doing something especially kind for Holling here.)

Because he has the tickets to the play, Holling now has a place to take Meryl on their Valentine's Day date. He'd worried a lot about this, thinking about how he only has a few dollars. It's not nearly enough money to take Meryl out for a nice dinner or to provide her with some other form of entertainment. Even Holling's sister warns him that he'll seem like a cheapskate if he doesn't take Meryl somewhere nice on the date! Thanks to the theater tickets, Holling and Meryl have a fantastic time on their date, which strengthens their relationship, and Holling's few dollars are enough for a shared snack after the show. As a bonus, Holling appreciates Shakespeare even more now that he's seen the live performance of the play. All these positive outcomes can be attributed to Mrs. Bigio's help.

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