The Wednesday Wars

by

Gary Schmidt

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Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) Character Analysis

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, and she regularly fights with her conservative father over her liberal politics. She desperately wants to be a flower child and protest the Vietnam War and other injustices at home, which her father laughs at and deems stupid. When she joins presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy’s campaign, her father is incensed and tries to employ her as his secretary instead. He also tries to forbid her from applying to Columbia University. She eventually runs away with her boyfriend, Chit, to California to "find herself." During the few weeks she's gone, Holling realizes he truly misses her and wants her to be happy. Holling wires her money for a bus ticket when she calls home, alone and broke, from Minneapolis. Holling’s spiteful father and fearful mother both refuse to help Heather, so Holling is forced to pick her up from the bus station in New York himself. After this, Holling begins referring to Heather by name, and the two become closer.

Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) Quotes in The Wednesday Wars

The The Wednesday Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) or refer to Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Wednesday Wars published in 2007.
January Quotes

"It's not a ridiculous idea because of why Dad thinks it's a ridiculous idea. It's a ridiculous idea because it's military school, and because the next stop after military school is Saigon."

"So?"

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) (speaker), Holling's Dad
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
February Quotes

[…] right then a whole series of low chords sounded from the piano in the Perfect Living Room below us, followed by a roar and crash as the entire newly plastered ceiling fell, smashing down on top of the baby grand piano, ripping the plastic seat cushions, flattening the fake tropical flowers, tearing the gleaming mirror from the wall, and spreading its glittering shards onto the floor, where they mixed with the dank, wet plaster that immediately began to settle into the carpet to stain it forever.

Related Symbols: The Perfect House
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
March Quotes

You know things are bad when the United States Marine Corps is using stethoscopes and divining rods.

Still, the White House announced that the enemy offensive was running out of steam, that casualties at Khesanh were light, that we would never give up the marine base there.

Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:

I was glad he was running for president.

And so maybe, after all, I had done something to make my father mad. Just not out loud.

Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
April Quotes

"The whole world is going crazy," my father said, "and no place is crazier than college. You'll stay at your job and be safe."

Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
May Quotes

For supper, my mother set only three places. She did not cook lima beans. She did not say anything while my father swore up and down […] Didn't she realize that this didn't help his business reputation or his chances for the Chamber of Commerce Businessman of 1968, which that creep Kowalski was trying to steal from him?

Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

That's when I knew for the first time that I really did love my sister. But I didn't know if I wanted more for her to come back or for her to find whatever it was that she was trying to find.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister)
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
June Quotes

"You think that's how you become a man, by chanting a few prayers?"

"You think you become a man by getting a job as an architect?"

Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Wednesday Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wednesday Wars PDF

Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Heather Hoodhood (Holling's Sister) appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
September
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Finally, Holling finds his sixteen-year-old sister (later revealed as Heather) to ask her for help. She's in her room, listening to the Monkees, and is... (full context)
October
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...he did anything to the cream puffs. Holling is saved from lying when his sister, Heather, sits down at the table with a yellow flower painted on her cheek. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling's dad asks Holling's mother to tell Heather that she has a flower painted on her cheek. Heather assures her family she's aware,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Later that night, Heather comes into his room, angry that he didn't support her in standing up to their... (full context)
November
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...door, but both leave when he say he's practicing a speech for Mrs. Baker. When Heather knocks on the door, Holling uses one of Caliban's curses on her. She throws the... (full context)
December
Family Theme Icon
Heather is the only one who expresses concern, though she's mostly concerned about news of the... (full context)
January
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...but Doug Swieteck's brother has a seemingly unending supply. When Holling gets home on Tuesday, Heather nabs him at the front door with one of the photos. She explains that she... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Heather asks why military school is ridiculous, and their dad says that the Mets just decided... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Later, Heather comes into his room and says again that military school is ridiculous because he'd be... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...fielding calls from people asking if the firm will be closed the next day; and his sister wallows in her misery since she's missing the Beatles' television special and will have to... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...intersection towards Holling and Doug's brother. As Holling turns back towards Doug's brother, he notices Heather crossing the street, directly in the line of the bus. Holling races towards her, pushes... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
When Holling is settled, Mrs. Baker heads for the hospital. She drops Heather off at the Perfect House to inform Holling's parents of what happened, and she ushers... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...on the counter, which features a photo of him, leaping through the air to save Heather—whose buttocks is the only part of her visible in the photo. (full context)
February
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...attend the formal presentation of the Chamber of Commerce Businessman of 1967 award. Holling and Heather gripe about having to wear flowers, and Holling's dad sneers at Heather that this is... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Heather excuses herself to the bathroom when they get inside and flushes her flower, grinning triumphantly... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...under when Hoodhood and Associates inevitably gets the contract to remodel the junior high school. Heather says to take Meryl Lee to Woolworth's so she learns quickly that Holling is a... (full context)
March
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...and the enemy is running out of steam. Holling's dad just shakes his head, while Heather is silent. Holling keeps an eye out for news of Lieutenant Baker, which he believes... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...the weekend to stay out of the house, as his dad is extremely mad at Heather. His dad wanted to hire an afternoon and weekend receptionist for cheap, so he decided... (full context)
April
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...he's not going to seek another term in office. Holling listens to his dad and his sister argue over who will win, Bobby Kennedy or Richard Nixon. After the news that night,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...killed. Meryl Lee and Holling watch Walter Cronkite announce it on the news. That night, Heather doesn't come down for dinner, and the next day, riots break out in major cities.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...Holling to the game, assuming his mother is okay with it. Holling ends up asking his sister , who doesn't care, so he and Mrs. Baker drive to the city. They reach... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...rolls around, Holling, Danny, Mai Thi, and Meryl Lee hang out every afternoon at Woolworth's. Heather hangs out with a guy named Chit, who drives a yellow VW bug. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...winner will receive a $100 savings bond. Holling's family seems reasonably supportive at dinner, though Heather declares he'll die. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling asks how long until Heather goes to college, and his dad states that she won't be going to college. She... (full context)
May
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...Stadium, a multi-million, three-year job. His dad concentrates on his lima beans during dinner. When Heather points out that lima beans have killed lab rats, his dad remarks that she's obviously... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...there during the day. Holling wonders if the car was actually any comfort, though, when Heather leaves for California to "find herself." Supper that night is quiet, and Holling's mother doesn't... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...He prays that bombs don't drop on his town and that Lieutenant Baker, Danny, and Heather are safe. When he gets home that afternoon, everyone else is gone. Holling realizes that... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Late that night, when Holling is the only one awake, Heather calls. They both start crying, and she manages to say that she's in Minneapolis alone,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The next morning, not knowing if Heather heard his instructions or not, Holling creeps around the Commerce Bank and waits for it... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Finally, on Friday night, Holling gets a call from his Heather saying she's on her way. He tells his dad and his mother at breakfast on... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
When the bus from Chicago arrives, Holling is already at the station. When Heather gets off the bus, the noise of the station seems to stop and doesn't start... (full context)
June
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...Holling says was a sure bet for president but got shot at point-blank range. When Heather hears the news, she locks herself in her bedroom and puts on the Beatles song... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
After the ceremony, Holling's parents and Heather decide not to stay for the party. Holling walks them out to the car, and... (full context)