Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Wednesday Wars: Introduction
The Wednesday Wars: Plot Summary
The Wednesday Wars: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Wednesday Wars: Themes
The Wednesday Wars: Quotes
The Wednesday Wars: Characters
The Wednesday Wars: Symbols
The Wednesday Wars: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Gary Schmidt
Historical Context of The Wednesday Wars
Other Books Related to The Wednesday Wars
- Full Title: The Wednesday Wars
- When Written: 2005-2007
- Where Written: Michigan
- When Published: 2007
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Bildungsroman; young adult fiction; historical fiction
- Setting: A small town on Long Island, 1967-68
- Climax: Though there's no clear climax, Holling's request that Mrs. Baker refer to him by his first name instead of as Mr. Hoodhood is a major turning point in Holling's coming of age and quest for independence.
- Antagonist: Doug Swieteck's brother and the penitentiary crowd; Holling's dad; the Vietnam War
- Point of View: First person narrated by Holling
Extra Credit for The Wednesday Wars
Nobody Has Names Like That. Initially, Gary Schmidt's editor tried to reject Holling Hoodhood's name on the grounds that it was too weird, despite the fact that "Holling" is a nod to the mid-20th century children's author Holling C. Holling, and "Hoodhood" is the last name of one of Schmidt's son's friends. Schmidt convinced the editor to keep the name by showing her strange names of real students from his class rosters.
Autobiographical, With a Twist. The premise of The Wednesday Wars is mostly autobiographical: Like Holling, author Gary Schmidt spent afternoons alone with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while his classmates were at Hebrew school or catechism. Unlike the novel, the real-life Mrs. Baker unfortunately never came to like him, and he spent the entire year doing janitorial work on those afternoons.