The Wednesday Wars


Gary Schmidt

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Wednesday Wars makes teaching easy.

The Wednesday Wars Characters

Holling Hoodhood

Holling Hoodhood is the thirteen-year-old protagonist of the novel. At the beginning of the novel, he wants nothing more than to make it through the school year unscathed, and he fears that everyone is out… read analysis of Holling Hoodhood

Mrs. Baker

Mrs. Baker is Holling's seventh grade teacher at Camillo Junior High School. As a teacher, she's demanding and, according to her students, soulless: she refuses to allow her students to decorate the classroom for… read analysis of Mrs. Baker

Meryl Lee Kowalski

Meryl Lee is one of Holling's classmates. According to Holling, she's in love with him and has been since the third grade. In reality, she makes mean jokes about hurting Holling and joins Dannyread analysis of Meryl Lee Kowalski

Danny Hupfer

Danny Hupfer is one of Holling's classmates and friends. He's excitable and prone to exaggeration: he's one of the most ardent believers that Mr. Guareschi wants to be a dictator of a small country… read analysis of Danny Hupfer

Holling's Dad

Holling's dad, Mr. Hoodhood, is a self-important architect who is extremely concerned with reputations and appearances. According to his worldview, his family exists to make his architecture firm, Hoodhood and Associates, look good. Further… read analysis of Holling's Dad
Get the entire The Wednesday Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wednesday Wars PDF

Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister)

For most of the novel, Holling refers to his sister only as "my sister." She's sixteen years old and is constantly fighting with Holling and Holling's dad. She thinks Holling is gutless and naïve… read analysis of Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister)

Doug Swieteck

Doug Swieteck is one of Holling's classmates. Like Doug Swieteck’s brother, Doug is a prankster: in sixth grade, he made a list of 410 ways to make a teacher hate you, and he… read analysis of Doug Swieteck

Mrs. Sidman

Prior to the start of the novel, Mrs. Sidman was just another teacher at Camillo Junior High School. However, after Doug Swieteck played a prank on her that dyed her face the color of a… read analysis of Mrs. Sidman

Mrs. Bigio

Mrs. Bigio is the school cook at Camillo Junior High School. Though her lunches leave a lot to be desired, she's a skilled pastry chef and all the students covet her cupcakes. Her husband, a… read analysis of Mrs. Bigio

Mai Thi

Mai Thi is Holling’s Vietnamese classmate. She came to America the summer before seventh grade thanks to sponsorship from the Catholic Relief Agency. Because of this, on Wednesday afternoons, Mai Thi attends Catechism, even… read analysis of Mai Thi

Sycorax and Caliban

Sycorax and Caliban are Mrs. Baker's pet rats, given to her by Lieutenant Baker back when the rats were babies and still cute. In the present, they're huge, scabby, and have yellow teeth. Hollingread analysis of Sycorax and Caliban

Holling's Mother

Holling's mother is a quiet, timid woman who seems afraid of her husband, Holling's dad. She chain-smokes in secret, though both Holling and Heather are aware of her habit. She shows her love through… read analysis of Holling's Mother

Doug Swieteck's Brother

Doug Swieteck's brother is, according to Holling, part of "the penitentiary crowd." An eighth grader, Doug's brother has already been arrested several times and spent a night in jail. He hates school and does… read analysis of Doug Swieteck's Brother

Mr. Kowalski

Mr. Kowalski is Meryl Lee's dad and the lead architect at Kowalski and Associates, the rival firm to Hoodhood and Associates. He seems to be a sad and insecure man and even copies Holling's dad'sread analysis of Mr. Kowalski

Mr. Guareschi

Mr. Guareschi is the principal at Camillo Junior High School. According to the students, Mr. Guareschi's goal in life is to someday be the dictator of a small country. Holling notices that Mr. Guareschi uses… read analysis of Mr. Guareschi

Mr. Petrelli

Mr. Petrelli is Holling’s Geography and Social Studies teacher at Camillo Junior High School. He's a fan of "Data Collection Worksheets" and assigning projects titled "(Important Historical Event) and Me." Holling thinks this is… read analysis of Mr. Petrelli

Mr. Goldman

Mr. Goldman is the owner of Goldman's Best Bakery and an avid fan of Shakespeare. He recruits Holling to play Ariel in his production of The Tempest during the Holiday Extravaganza, and he regularly dismisses… read analysis of Mr. Goldman

Lieutenant Tybalt Baker

Mrs. Baker's husband, Lieutenant Tybalt Baker, is a soldier with the 101st Airborne Division fighting in Vietnam. When his airplane goes down, Lieutenant Baker is missing for months, but he is found and rescued… read analysis of Lieutenant Tybalt Baker

Horace Clarke

Horace Clarke is a Yankee player who Holling looks up to. To make up for what happened to Holling when he asked Mickey Mantle to sign his ball, Mrs. Baker arranges for Holling, Dannyread analysis of Horace Clarke

Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle is a baseball player for the Yankees and is one of Holling's heroes. Around Christmas, he comes to the Baker Sporting Emporium to sign baseballs. Having just come from the play, Holling… read analysis of Mickey Mantle
Minor Characters
Joe Pepitone
Joe Pepitone is a Yankee player who plays catch with Holling, Danny, and Doug. Unlike Mickey Mantle, Joe Pepitone and his teammate Horace Clarke are kind to the boys.
Coach Quatrini
Coach Quatrini is Holling’s gym teacher and cross-country coach at Camillo Junior High School. He's an abrasive man and regularly insults and belittles his students.
Mr. Vendleri
Mr. Vendleri is the custodian at Camillo Junior High School. Like everyone else, he's afraid of the rats Sycorax and Caliban.
Mr. Hupfer
Mr. Hupfer is Danny Hupfer's dad. He often supports Holling by driving him places and cheering for him.
Chit is Heather's short-term boyfriend. He has long hair and is extremely tall, though he drives a tiny yellow VW Bug. He and Heather run away to California to "find themselves," though he leaves her in Minneapolis.
A fifth grader with exceptionally beautiful handwriting.