In The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, our main character, Holling Hoodhood, promises his classmates cream puffs, but he has no way to buy them. He tries to get an advance on his allowance, but his father will not give him an advance. He goes into Goldman's Best Bakery and asks how much twenty-two cream puffs would cost. Since Holling doesn't have enough money, he asks Mr. Goldman if he needs someone to wash dishes or something. But Mr. Goldman doesn't need someone to wash dishes, what he needs, is a boy to play Ariel in The Tempest. Coincidentally, Holling knows this Shakespeare play because he has been reading it with Mrs. Baker. Holling impresses Mr. Baker, gets the role of Ariel, and gets the cream puffs.
This plan, however, goes horribly wrong. On Monday, Holling takes the cream puffs to school. The students smell the cream puffs all through morning class. At lunch, Mrs. Baker says they need to come back early from lunch break and then they can have the cream puffs. However, when they get back from lunch break, the cream puffs have been ripped apart and eaten by the two escaped rats, Caliban and Sycorax. And Holling still has to play Ariel in The Tempest, wearing yellow tights with feathers on his behind. Poor Holling, he just can't win.