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 Danny Hupfer in making death threats if Holling doesn't bring the class cream puffs. She does, however, act as a voice of reason when Holling is paranoid that Mrs. Baker is out to get him. Though Holling is mostly unaware, Meryl Lee's father owns Kowalski and Associates, an architecture firm that is Hoodhood and Associates’ direct competitor. This rivalry explains much of Meryl Lee’s behavior that Holling finds confusing: Kowalski and Associates is, for much of the novel, not doing well because they keep losing business to Hoodhood and Associates. This means that there's a very real chance that Meryl Lee's family will suffer financial hardship or have to move. Despite this, Meryl Lee accepts Holling's invitation for dinner and a night at the theater for Valentine's Day. She loves Shakespeare and is thrilled to see Romeo and Juliet with him, and they spend a long time talking over Cokes at Woolworth's afterwards. The next week, she's extremely upset when she realizes that her father used Holling's drawing of his own dad's plan for the remodeled junior high school to revise his proposal. She finds herself caught between familial loyalty and her affection for Holling, who shuns her and calls her a traitor. After he finally forgives her, he and Meryl Lee start spending more time together and are partners on many of their school projects.
Meryl Lee Kowalski Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars
The timeline below shows where the character Meryl Lee Kowalski appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Mrs. Baker booby-trapped his desk. He inspects it carefully and sees nothing amiss, but asks Meryl Lee Kowalski, who is in love with him, to open the desk in case there's something... (full context)
...Doug's brother vomits on her, and Danny congratulates Holling. Doug Swieteck does too, as does Meryl Lee . Holling is confused and admits that he didn't mean to take out Doug Swieteck's... (full context)
...it "tragic and beautiful and lovely," and suggests that Holling's reading is naïve and simplistic. Meryl Lee is reading the play on her own, and she agrees with Mrs. Baker's assessment when... (full context)
...to his name. His dad asks Holling who he's taking, and when he ascertains that Meryl Lee is Meryl Lee Kowalski of Kowalski and Associates, he tells Holling to hurry—Kowalski and Associates... (full context)
...of the Home Town Chronicle. When spring break 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... (full context)
...Hamlet. Holling finds Hamlet boring and slow, so he starts skipping over the boring monologues. Meryl Lee finds this a questionable strategy, but Holling is so convinced of his genius he even... (full context)
...and then latrines (far away from the camp), while Mrs. Sidman organizes a wood-gathering expedition. Meryl Lee cooks hot dogs for lunch as Mrs. Baker asks for the chili. Holling heads for... (full context)