The Wednesday Wars

by

Gary Schmidt

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Holling Hoodhood Character Analysis

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 to get him—especially his teacher, Mrs. Baker, and the hulking eighth-grade bad boy, Doug Swieteck's brother. However, Holling's perspective is warped because of his self-absorption; he's prone to believing that he's a victim and a target and seldom stands up for himself in meaningful ways. He sees this as the easiest way to survive, especially in his family. Holling's dad regularly tells Holling he's dumb and incompetent and informs Holling that he must behave in order to give the family architecture firm, Hoodhood and Associates, a good name. Over the course of the school year, Mrs. Baker introduces Holling to Shakespeare, which Holling initially believes is a plot to bore him to death. This "plot," however, fails miserably, as Holling thinks that Shakespeare’s plays are fantastic and even acts in a holiday production of The Tempest. By reading Shakespeare, Holling begins to think more critically about the world around him. As spring rolls around, Holling finally begins to stand up for himself and for what he believes in. When his sister, Heather, runs away, Holling stands up to his dad and helps his sister get home safely. He also begins to integrate more into his community. At the end of the school year, at Danny Hupfer's bar mitzvah, Holling feels as though he's part of something bigger than himself and challenges his dad's assertions that such a symbolic coming of age is meaningless.

Holling Hoodhood Quotes in The Wednesday Wars

The The Wednesday Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Holling Hoodhood or refer to Holling Hoodhood. 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.
September Quotes

How do parents get to where they can say things like this? There must be some gene that switches on at the birth of the firstborn child, and suddenly stuff like that starts to come out of their mouths.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Holling's Dad, Holling's Mother
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

"So, Holling, what did you do that might make Mrs. Baker hate your guts, which will make other Baker family members hate the name of Hoodhood, which will lead the Baker Sporting Emporium to choose another architect, which will kill the deal for Hoodhood and Associates […]”

Related Characters: Holling's Dad (speaker), Holling Hoodhood, Mrs. Baker
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
November Quotes

I was amazed that Mrs. Baker was letting me read this. It's got to be censored all over the place. I figured that she hadn't read it herself, otherwise she would never have let me at it.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

"Must all history center around your own personal experience, Hoodhood?" Mr. Petrelli asked.

Related Characters: Mr. Petrelli (speaker), Holling Hoodhood
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

Everyone—except for Caliban—is happy, and everyone is forgiven, and everyone is fine, and they all sail away on calm seas. Happy endings.

That's how it is in Shakespeare.

But Shakespeare was wrong.

Sometimes there isn't a Prospero to make everything fine again.

And sometimes the quality of mercy is strained.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Bigio, Mai Thi
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:
December Quotes

I guess it didn't matter to them that the Bing Crosby Christmas Special was on television tonight, the way it mattered to my parents, who would never, ever miss it. I guess the Hupfers thought that a Shakespeare debut was a whole lot more important than hearing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" one more time—even though Mr. Hupfer was loosening his tie and holding his hand over a yawn.

Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

When gods die, they die hard. It's not like they fade away, or grow old, or fall asleep. They die in fire and pain, and when they come out of you, they leave your guts burned. It hurts more than anything you can talk about. And maybe worst of all is, you're not sure if there will ever be another god to fill their place. Or if you'd want another god to fill their place. You don't want fire to go out inside you twice.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Danny Hupfer, Mickey Mantle
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

"Pick it up and be glad you're getting it. You shouldn't even be here, sitting like a queen in a refugee home while American boys are sitting in swamps on Christmas Day. They're the ones who should be here. Not you."

Mai Thi took her Something. She looked down, and kept going.

She probably didn't see that Mrs. Bigio was pulling her hairnet down lower over her face, because she was almost crying.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Bigio, Mai Thi
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

But Doug went on in, and he came back out carrying the cardboard box for Number 166 from the Coat Room. He looked at us, shrugged, and hauled it away down the hall, staggering under its clumsy weight.

Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
January Quotes

Doug wouldn't tell us what he said when he saw the pictures and the can of yellow paint. All I know is that he wouldn't help, and so took a black eye […] Whatever it means to be a friend, taking a black eye for someone has to be in it.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Doug Swieteck, Doug Swieteck's Brother
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

"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:

When Mrs. Baker came back, her face was set and hard. "Your father has spoken over the phone with the nurse at the front desk. He has given approval for any necessary procedure, and says that, since everything seems under control, he will be along as soon as may be convenient."

Related Characters: Mrs. Baker (speaker), Holling Hoodhood, Holling's Dad, Mr. Guareschi
Page Number: 126
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:

And that's when something changed. I suddenly wondered if my father was really like Shylock. Not because he loved ducats, but because maybe he had become the person that everyone expected him to become. I wondered if he ever had a choice, or if he had ever felt trapped. Or if he had ever imagined a different life.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Holling's Dad
Page Number: 154
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:

It also didn't help that Mrs. Baker kept wiping at her eyes during her grading. She'd told us that she had a terrible cold, but she hardly needed to tell us. Her eyes were mostly red all the time, and the way she blew her nose could be pretty impressive. Sometimes while sitting at her desk, she'd just stop doing whatever she was doing and look somewhere far away, like she wasn't even in the classroom anymore.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker, Lieutenant Tybalt Baker
Page Number: 161
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:

"It was for the women's four-by-one hundred relay. Don't look so surprised. You didn't think I'd spent my whole life behind this desk, did you?"

And I suddenly realized that, well, I guess I had. Weren't all teachers born behind their desks, fully grown, with a red pen in their hand and ready to grade?

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker (speaker)
Page Number: 161
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:

"Would you mind not calling me 'Mr. Hoodhood'? It sounds like you're talking to my father."

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker, Holling's Dad
Page Number: 219
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

I could tell that Mrs. Baker was wanting to try it. It was probably getting hot on the open rocks above the falls, with the sun coming straight down now […]

It's got to be hard to be a teacher all the time and not jump into a pool of clear water and come up laughing and snorting with water up your nose.

Related Characters: Holling Hoodhood (speaker), Mrs. Baker
Page Number: 253
Explanation and Analysis:

"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

Holling Hoodhood Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Holling Hoodhood appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
September
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Holling Hoodhood tells the reader that his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him with a burning passion—for... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...north side of town, while Italian last names mean a student lives in the south. Holling, however, lives in the exact middle of town in what his dad calls the Perfect... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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When Mrs. Baker calls Holling's name during roll, he thinks her tone is hopeful when she asks if he attends... (full context)
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When Holling walks home that afternoon, he notices, as usual, that the sidewalk squares become perfectly white... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Holling finds his mother in the kitchen and informs her that Mrs. Baker hates him. She... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
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After supper, Holling tells his dad that Mrs. Baker hates him. He shushes Holling, as he's in the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Finally, Holling finds his sixteen-year-old sister (later revealed as Heather) to ask her for help. She's in... (full context)
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On Tuesday, Mrs. Baker eyes Holling in the morning when he comes out of the Coat Room. Holling has an epiphany:... (full context)
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Holling is afraid to go outside for recess, as it's likely that Mrs. Baker recruited an... (full context)
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Holling takes his position on the field, and Doug Swieteck's brother explains that Holling will play... (full context)
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Holling remembers his characters from Treasure Island and remembers that he should have guts. He runs... (full context)
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Holling is thrilled to get to escape, but he sees that Mrs. Baker looks victorious. He... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...for a moment, but decides that a passing grade is a passing grade. He warns Holling that he might still have to retake sixth grade math, but for now, he'll remain... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling does as he's told and delivers the sealed envelope to Mrs. Baker. Mrs. Baker reads... (full context)
October
Family Theme Icon
All the Wednesdays of September and into October, Mrs. Baker has Holling wash chalkboards, clean erasers, put up bulletin boards, and clean out the Coat Room. This... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
The day after this all comes to light, Mrs. Baker glares at the class, and Holling decides she must believe the whole thing is his fault. However, suspiciously, Mrs. Baker stops... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling explains that recess became much safer after Mrs. Baker's "failed assassination plot," as the "would-be... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling enters the kitchen on the first floor, prepared for the usual "fumes" of Mrs. Bigio's... (full context)
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Holling and his classmates spend the entirety of math class thinking about the cream puffs. When... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...got "them" all. He puts the box on Mrs. Baker's desk and looks sadly at Holling before he leaves. Mrs. Baker turns to Holling and explains that the box contains all... (full context)
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As Holling pounds the erasers against the wall, the chalk dust fills his lungs and wafts to... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...quickly through the town: all the Wives of Vietnam Soldiers choked on the puffs (which Holling believes is an exaggeration), they quickly realized that Mrs. Baker would never play a practical... (full context)
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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... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...they have to believe in something bigger than themselves, and says that it's time for Holling to grow up to be the person he's supposed to be, not just "the son... (full context)
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The next morning, Mrs. Baker finds Holling and explains that they need to make some changes to their Wednesday afternoon routines, though... (full context)
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Reading and Learning Theme Icon
On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Baker informs Holling that they're going to be reading Shakespeare on Wednesdays. Holling thinks this is the worst... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Mrs. Baker tells Holling to dig out a small cage, transfer Sycorax and Caliban to it using food as... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The rats immediately begin pushing out between the cages, snarling and clacking their teeth. Holling thinks they look demonic, and he tries to shove the cages back together. Mrs. Baker... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Mr. Vendleri gets two brooms and a shovel so that Holling and Mrs. Baker can flush the rats out, while he'll catch them with the shovel.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Guareschi decides that nobody should know about the escaped rats and swears everyone to silence. Holling addresses the reader and amends his narration: he and his teachers cursed while they were... (full context)
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When Mrs. Baker and Holling are alone again, Mrs. Baker remarks that Holling only pretended to eat his cream puff.... (full context)
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That night, Holling dreams that Doug Swieteck's brother is Shylock, and they're in a courtroom with their other... (full context)
November
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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November arrives with gray skies and rain. Holling and his dad prep the Perfect House for winter, and Holling's mother discovers a leak... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Holling is especially taken with Caliban's curses, which are fantastic. Holling decides to learn them all... (full context)
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When Holling gets to the third floor the next day at school, he finds Mr. Vendleri holding... (full context)
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Holling and Mrs. Baker listen to the rats scuttle in the ceiling for a moment, and... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Holling decides to slip Caliban curses more naturally into conversation. He curses at his sad lunch,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Holling's foot is very painful when he goes to Gym. As Coach Quatrini berates the students... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Mrs. Baker gives Holling a 150-question test on The Tempest. Holling listens to Sycorax and Caliban in the ceiling... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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However, as Holling limps past Goldman's Best Bakery, he notices cream puffs in the window and remembers that... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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At Goldman's Best Bakery, Holling puts $2.45 on the counter and asks to buy 22 cream puffs. When Mr. Goldman... (full context)
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On Monday morning, Holling walks to school with a box of fresh cream puffs. Mrs. Baker says nothing, but... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...into the radiators and back into the walls. Meryl Lee, Mai Thi, and Danny tell Holling he has ten days to get more cream puffs, and Mrs. Baker makes him clean... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The week before Thanksgiving is an awful week for Holling. His classmates whisper about him after the cream puff incident, and when he goes to... (full context)
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The next day, when Holling complains to Meryl Lee that his dad is being a cheapskate, especially since he just... (full context)
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That afternoon, Mrs. Baker asks Holling if he thinks the ending of The Tempest is happy or not. Holling says it... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling thanks Mrs. Baker for the cream puffs, and she smiles at him. Suddenly, Mrs. Bigio... (full context)
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Holling explains the ending of The Tempest: everyone except for Caliban gets a happy ending, and... (full context)
December
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...on her door and refuses a crock of apple cider from a second grade teacher. Holling explains that he isn't in much of a holiday spirit either, given that he cannot... (full context)
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...the high school and ruining her reputation. On the night of the first dress rehearsal, Holling is mortified when the entire cast applauds when they see the tights. Holling knows they... (full context)
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After the applause, Holling tries to tell Mr. Goldman again that he can't wear the tights because he looks... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...at the Baker Sporting Emporium. After the cheers die down, Mrs. Baker says there's more: Holling will be playing a part in the Long Island Shakespeare Company's Holiday Extravaganza on the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
The next Wednesday, Mrs. Baker tells Holling that Mr. Goldman said that Holling is doing well, but needs to work on interpreting... (full context)
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On Saturday night, Holling puts on his tights, grabs a new baseball, and his dad drops him off at... (full context)
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This belief that none of his classmates are in the audience makes Holling's entrance, in yellow tights with waving feathers, much easier. He stays “on the knife's edge”... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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When the curtain falls, Holling runs backstage to the dressing room and finds it locked. Mr. Goldman is still onstage,... (full context)
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The driver drives slowly and arrives at the Sporting Emporium at 9:37. Holling races off the bus but halfway down the steps, the driver asks if he has... (full context)
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Reading and Learning Theme Icon
Holling sprints inside and comes face to face with Mickey Mantle. Mantle is sitting at a... (full context)
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Holling feels as though his world is splitting in two. Danny, who saw the entire situation,... (full context)
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The Hupfers drive Holling back to the theater. Holling goes to retrieve his clothes and feels unable to tell... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...Monday, there are only three more days before the holiday break. Classes are, according to Holling, supposed to be easy, and lunch should be special. Lunch, however, is even worse than... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...three brand new mitts out of her drawer and hands them to Danny, Doug, and Holling. She explains that they're a gift from the Baker Sporting Emporium, and she's arranged for... (full context)
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Danny, Doug, and Holling gleefully walk to the gym, where they find Joe Pepitone and Horace Clarke, two amazing... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Holling, Doug, and Danny run upstairs to find Mrs. Baker, but they find only a note... (full context)
January
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...contributions to the town in the last year. Most are people like Mr. Guareschi and Holling's dad, but Holling himself wakes up to find an action shot of him as Ariel... (full context)
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When Holling returns to school, he discovers his mother was wrong: Doug Swieteck's brother saw it and,... (full context)
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Holling figures this will be his last day at Camillo Junior High, and considers switching to... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
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Holling decides to suggest the military institute to his dad at supper. His dad announces that... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...a player who can't hit a ball out of the infield $18,000 per year, and Holling's suggestion is almost as ridiculous. Holling's sister insists that it's no more ridiculous than the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
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The next afternoon, Mrs. Baker returns Holling's test. She reminds him that several characters aren't actually the same, even if their names... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling sighs and says that it's easier to say that than to see your own face... (full context)
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In bed that night, Holling listens to the rain, which by morning, turns to ice that covers the town. When... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...no power, so the students huddle in their coats using the light from the windows. Holling hears Sycorax and Caliban in the walls and wonders if they're going to attack. Mrs.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...on attending school for the Achievement Tests the next day, no matter the weather. As Holling leaves school, he realizes that Mrs. Baker didn't say a word to him all day,... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
That night, the power outage continues. Holling's mother chain-smokes out a window; his dad furiously sits at the phone fielding calls from... (full context)
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Holling sees Doug Swieteck's brother riding the bus bumpers again. Something snaps in Holling as he... (full context)
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At lunch, the power comes back on. The radiators soon warm the classroom, and Holling begins taking off his outer layers an hour later. By the last sections of the... (full context)
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Finally, at 2:30 P.M., the students hand in their tests. Holling races to the bathroom to escape his soggy underwear, but upon entering the bathroom, he... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...the ground. Mrs. Baker teaches "strong verb systems" in the afternoon and doesn't call on Holling, even when he raises his hand. When school ends, Holling suspiciously looks around for Doug... (full context)
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Holling barely knows what happens next due to the snow falling so hard. When he reaches... (full context)
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When Holling is settled, Mrs. Baker heads for the hospital. She drops Heather off at the Perfect... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling, Mrs. Baker, and Mr. Guareschi wait for hours. When a nurse turns on the television,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The next day, Holling is sore but happy when he gets to school. Someone taped up photos of his... (full context)
February
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
On the first Friday of February, Holling and his family prepare to attend the formal presentation of the Chamber of Commerce Businessman... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...herself to the bathroom when they get inside and flushes her flower, grinning triumphantly at Holling. Holling sits uncomfortably through dinner and then watches his dad accept the award, still red... (full context)
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Mrs. Baker assigns Romeo and Juliet to Holling. Holling finds the entire play ridiculous and thinks that both Romeo and Juliet are stupid.... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
That night at supper, Holling asks his family where he can take a girl with only $3.78 to his name.... (full context)
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At school the next day, Holling learns that Danny is taking Mai Thi to Milleridge Inn and then to see Camelot... (full context)
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...cupcakes, and class representatives can pick them up at 1 P.M. Mrs. Baker finally sends Holling to the kitchen at 1:18 P.M., where Mrs. Bigio gives Holling an envelope with tickets... (full context)
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...Lee imitates her dad's obsessiveness about making the model for the junior high school "classical." Holling explains that his dad is proposing a modern design, and he draws his dad's design... (full context)
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The next week, Holling's dad takes Holling to the meeting where the board will decide which architect will remodel... (full context)
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When Mr. Kowalski is finished, Holling's dad turns to Holling, red in the face with anger, and asks what he did.... (full context)
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Holling discovers what Shakespeare wanted to express about the human condition from Meryl Lee, and he... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
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Holling rewrites his Romeo and Juliet essay, proposing that it's hard to care about two things... (full context)
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...withdraws its bid for the junior high school, and Hoodhood and Associates receives the contract. Holling's dad calls them "chumps," and Holling wonders if his dad is like Shylock and just... (full context)
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The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Holling and Meryl Lee partner up for school projects over the next week. They're at the... (full context)
March
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
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...that the American effort is going well, 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... (full context)
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...class thrives. Mai Thi even becomes the best at diagramming sentences. One Wednesday afternoon, while Holling reads Julius Caesar under the bulging ceiling tiles, Mr. Vendleri comes in with eight new... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Sycorax and Caliban don't show up, and Mr. Vendleri successfully replaces all the ceiling tiles. Holling, still terrified, wants to read sitting on his desk, and he wonders if Mrs. Baker... (full context)
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Holling addresses the reader and says it's important to keep in mind the line "beware the... (full context)
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...team now so that he can have students ready to compete in September. He makes Holling's class run two miles at "race pace," which is unspeakably fast, and he still yells... (full context)
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Holling runs over the weekend to stay out of the house, as his dad is extremely... (full context)
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Holling struggles through Coach Quatrini's exercises the next few days, and on Wednesday, he tells Mrs.... (full context)
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That afternoon, Holling thanks Mrs. Baker for helping him with his running and offers her some advice in... (full context)
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...the Ides of March, the sky is greenish and cloudy. During a break in class, Holling acts out the scene in which Julius Caesar gets stabbed, complete with sound effects. Mrs.... (full context)
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One school board member asks Mrs. Baker what book she's giving Holling, and is relieved to learn that the expensive-looking volume is Mrs. Baker's personal copy. He... (full context)
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...a Shakespearean curse on the board for the class to diagram. She follows all of Holling's suggestions, and even lets him act out the stabbing scene from Julius Caesar near the... (full context)
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...in a cage, waiting for the exterminator. He blows his whistle, and everyone takes off. Holling feels like he's drowning but remembers his form. He feels much better when he sees... (full context)
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After Holling passes the parking lot, he hears a scream and the sound of the cage dropping.... (full context)
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Holling's mad dash from Sycorax and Caliban sets a record, and he makes the varsity team.... (full context)
April
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The following week, Mrs. Sidman announces the members of the varsity cross-country team and congratulates Holling specifically for coming in with the fastest time. Holling is afraid of being alone with... (full context)
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Holling also notes that Mrs. Sidman has replaced Mr. Guareschi as principal for unknown reasons. On... (full context)
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At lunch recess the next day, Meryl Lee announces that she might be moving. Holling doesn't know what to say, so he says nothing but "toads, beetles, bats." They decide... (full context)
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Holling continues to run cross-country every day. He gets faster, though he learns the hard way... (full context)
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One afternoon, while Holling and Meryl Lee work on their project at her house, Mr. Kowalski comes home and... (full context)
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Before Holling goes to bed, he reminds his dad the next day is Opening Day at the... (full context)
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Holling returns to Mrs. Baker's classroom, humiliated beyond belief as his classmates trickle in after recess... (full context)
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Holling loves every bit of the game. Horace Clarke tosses balls to the boys, and Mr.... (full context)
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...players to show them around the stadium, and they agree. When they finish the tour, Holling happily throws balls with the players and runs around the outfield. Mrs. Baker asks what... (full context)
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Two days later, a photo of Mrs. Baker, Danny, Doug, and Holling with the Yankees graces the front page of the Home Town Chronicle. When spring break... (full context)
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When Holling returns to school, Coach Quatrini announces that the varsity team must run three miles 35... (full context)
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Holling asks how long until Heather goes to college, and his dad states that she won't... (full context)
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Holling's family is still asleep when he heads for school on Saturday morning. Holling feels mostly... (full context)
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Holling lines up for the varsity race behind all the eighth graders. Mr. Hupfer finds him... (full context)
May
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...the students to sit hunched under their desks quietly in the dark for 18 minutes. Holling notes that after 18 minutes, in the event of a bomb, most of the truly... (full context)
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When Mrs. Sidman praises Mrs. Baker's class, Holling thinks it's kind of comforting. He notes that the eighth grade cross-country runners certainly need... (full context)
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On May 3, Holling's dad opens up the Home Town Chronicle to discover that Kowalski and Associates is going... (full context)
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Holling's dad buys a new Ford Mustang the next day. Holling thinks he bought it to... (full context)
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The Perfect House becomes quiet, and Holling's dad stops watering the azaleas. His mother stops cooking lima beans, and they all stop... (full context)
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The bomb sirens go off again one Wednesday afternoon. Holling folds himself up under his desk, and Mrs. Baker declares that this is ridiculous. Holling... (full context)
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Mrs. Baker declares the bomb drill ridiculous again. She heads to the Coat Room and Holling suddenly hears a crash: the crock of cider from Thanksgiving, which has been fermenting since... (full context)
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...she points out the first abolitionist school, which helped end slavery through education. At that, Holling marvels that he didn't know buildings could hold so much in them. He feels as... (full context)
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When they pass Saint Adelbert's, Holling suggests they go in. He's never been in a Catholic church before, and he's struck... (full context)
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Holling and Mrs. Baker light candles. He prays that bombs don't drop on his town and... (full context)
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Late that night, when Holling is the only one awake, Heather calls. They both start crying, and she manages to... (full context)
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The next morning, not knowing if Heather heard his instructions or not, Holling creeps around the Commerce Bank and waits for it to open at 10 A.M. When... (full context)
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Finally, on Friday night, Holling gets a call from his Heather saying she's on her way. He tells his dad... (full context)
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Holling grabs the keys to the Mustang and tries to convince his mother to drive them.... (full context)
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When the bus from Chicago arrives, Holling is already at the station. When Heather gets off the bus, the noise of the... (full context)
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Holling tells the reader about the end of Hamlet: everyone is dead, and it's hard to... (full context)
June
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...camping to celebrate the end of the school year. She's done this every year, though Holling reasons that since Lieutenant Baker usually went too, he probably liked camping and Mrs. Baker... (full context)
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...leading up to the trip, Mrs. Baker keeps her class working hard. She even makes Holling read Much Ado About Nothing, which Holling is disappointed to discover is not funny, even... (full context)
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Holling reasons the real world is often more like Hamlet: scared and angry. He thinks the... (full context)
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The next Thursday morning, Holling's class gleefully boards the bus and heads to the Catskill Mountains. When Mrs. Baker stops... (full context)
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The trail is mostly uphill. Holling is the last person in line, right behind Mrs. Sidman, who picks up dropped sweatshirts... (full context)
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Holling's old pack had split and steadily dropped utensils, meaning that the entire class has only... (full context)
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Meryl Lee helps with the dishes. At the river, she and Holling splash each other, washing most of the chili off. When they get back to camp,... (full context)
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...it. Mrs. Sidman tries to tell ghost stories, but none of them are actually scary. Holling wonders if it's impossible for principals to tell good ghost stories. After her unsuccessful story,... (full context)
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...with exhaustion, and Danny declares he's staying up all night. Mai Thi, Meryl Lee, and Holling help stoke the fire and sit with Mrs. Baker well past midnight. They don't say... (full context)
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...Sidman supervise as the students all jump over the waterfall and into the pool below. Holling can tell that Mrs. Baker wants to try it, and he thinks that it must... (full context)
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...the latrines. However, after two meals of chili, he finally gives in. When he returns, Holling and Mrs. Baker notice that a cloud of mosquitos is following Doug. Mrs. Baker rolls... (full context)
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...the students, she sends them to re-wash the pots and bring back flat stones. When Holling returns from this task, he sees Mai Thi staring at Mrs. Bigio's ingredients. She asks... (full context)
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Holling and Meryl Lee again wash the pots, and they're still at the river when Mrs.... (full context)
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Holling doesn't sleep that night. He watches the stars and thinks about Mai Thi, Mrs. Bigio,... (full context)
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A week later, Holling watches Danny step up in front of the full synagogue at his bar mitzvah. Holling's... (full context)
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After the ceremony, Holling's parents and Heather decide not to stay for the party. Holling walks them out to... (full context)
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Holling goes back inside the temple. Danny is smiling, as is everyone else. He dances with... (full context)
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Holling says he doesn't want to know the future, but he asks how Mrs. Baker knows... (full context)
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...Mrs. Baker's class is on the tarmac holding boxes of strawberries when the plane lands. Holling refuses to say what Lieutenant Baker and Mrs. Baker did, but curses any reader who... (full context)