The Wednesday Wars

by

Gary Schmidt

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Mrs. Sidman Character Analysis

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 mango, she became jumpy and terrified of students and left teaching to work in the school’s main office. After heroically rescuing Mrs. Baker's class from the rats Sycorax and Caliban, she takes over from Mr. Guareschi as principal. As principal, Mrs. Sidman truly comes into herself and her power. Holling notes that she masters the "principal look" quickly, and she's a much more competent principal than Mr. Guareschi ever was.
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Mrs. Sidman Character Timeline in The Wednesday Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Sidman appears in The Wednesday Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
September
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...to get a teacher to hate you. The year before, Doug tried “Number 6” on Mrs. Sidman , and stained her face the color of a mango for days. Doug was suspended... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Mrs. Baker, with "criminal intent" in her eyes, shoos him outside. He sticks close to Mrs. Sidman , but his plan to keep a ten-foot distance between himself and other students is... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...clunks against a goal post. When Holling opens his eyes, Doug's brother is wobbling, and Mrs. Sidman is running towards them. Doug's brother vomits on her, and Danny congratulates Holling. Doug Swieteck... (full context)
October
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...mouth and racing around the school, roaring and slobbering. It was pure chance that poor Mrs. Sidman was there, clearing out her desk after deciding to leave her position in the office.... (full context)
December
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...school with poor results. Mrs. Baker rolls her eyes. Mr. Guareschi reads a note from Mrs. Sidman as well, wishing everyone a happy holiday season. Holling explains that the student body was... (full context)
March
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...opens, and Mr. Guareschi and three school board members walk in. One of them is Mrs. Sidman . (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...most dramatic part, Sycorax and Caliban drop out of the ceiling tiles and right onto Mrs. Sidman 's lap. Everyone, including the school board, clamber onto desks—except for Mrs. Sidman and Mai... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
...a record, and he makes the varsity team. The story of the rats expands, and Mrs. Sidman becomes a school hero. Students draw pictures of her holding the rats. Mai Thi, on... (full context)
April
Family Theme Icon
The following week, Mrs. Sidman announces the members of the varsity cross-country team and congratulates Holling specifically for coming in... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Holling also notes that Mrs. Sidman has replaced Mr. Guareschi as principal for unknown reasons. On her first day, she greets... (full context)
May
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
May is Atomic Bomb Awareness Month. During the morning announcements, Mrs. Sidman notes that since they live very close to New York City, which would be a... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
When Mrs. Sidman praises Mrs. Baker's class, Holling thinks it's kind of comforting. He notes that the eighth... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...find himself, and just let someone else find him. On the last Wednesday of May, Mrs. Sidman brings Mrs. Baker a telegram. Mrs. Baker shakily opens it and reads, "sweet eyes…stop." She... (full context)
June
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...beginning to the trip. They reach the trailhead an hour later, and Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Sidman distribute packs of food and supplies to the students to carry to the campsite. She... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The trail is mostly uphill. Holling is the last person in line, right behind Mrs. Sidman , who picks up dropped sweatshirts and water bottles. The cutlery pokes Holling in the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...sharp stones to split the cans open. Despite the setback, Mrs. Baker is still smiling. Mrs. Sidman grumbles, and she cuts three fingers trying to extract the chili. While Holling discovers a... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...then explores an abandoned house. Afterwards, it's even colder, so Mrs. Baker prepares hot chocolate. Mrs. Sidman grumbles about having only the spoon to turn over hamburgers for dinner. She burns the... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
After supper, as night falls, the students stoke the fire and stand around it. Mrs. Sidman tries to tell ghost stories, but none of them are actually scary. Holling wonders if... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...ask if snakes come out in the rain. Mrs. Baker goes into the tent with Mrs. Sidman , but the students stay out in the rain all night. In the morning, Mrs.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...suggests swimming, and the entire class changes and heads for the river. Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Sidman supervise as the students all jump over the waterfall and into the pool below. Holling... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Vietnam War and Political Unrest Theme Icon
Reading and Learning Theme Icon
...at his bar mitzvah. Holling's dad even came, as did Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Bigio, and Mrs. Sidman . Danny pulls his prayer shawl around his shoulders. He looks terrified as he carries... (full context)