Podcast #22: The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

An Interview with Beth Vrabel

For my twenty-second Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Beth Vrabel about one of her favorite children’s books,  The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt.

Published in 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Wednesday Wars is a historical middle grade novel set in the 1967 – 68 school year in Long Island, New York.  Holling Hoodhood is a seventh grader who thinks his teacher, Mrs. Baker, is out to get him.  Every Wednesday afternoon he’s stuck all alone with her while the other kids go to their religious education classes.  And every Wednesday she dishes out all kinds of horrible punishments upon him, like cleaning out the class rat cages, beating erasers and, even worse, reading Shakespeare!  But when Holling learns that Mrs. Baker’s husband is an MIA soldier in Vietnam, he starts to see her as a human being with joys and fears just like everyone else. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the tumultuous late ’60s, The Wednesday Wars is a heartfelt and humorous story of one boy’s coming of age in a difficult time.

Beth Vrabel is author of such books as the Pack of Dorks series, A Blind Guide to Stinkville, and her most recent book, Caleb and Kit. You can find Beth’s website at www.bethvrabel.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on November 1st, 2017.

Podcast #21: Rules by Cynthia Lord

An Interview with Maria Dismondy

For my twenty-first Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Maria Dismondy about one of her favorite children’s books,  Rules by Cynthia Lord.

Published in 2006 by Scholastic Press, Rules tells the story of twelve year old Catherine, who wishes she had more control over her messy life. Her autistic brother David consumes most of her parent’s attention, and the rules she tries to get him to abide to make him more “normal” never really work out for either one of them. But when two potential new friends turn up in her life, a girl who just moved next-door and a paraplegic boy who she can only communicate with by touching word cards, things start looking up. Except Catherine still has lot to learn about what it means to be a true friend, and that what “normal” looks like is not what she’d thought.

Maria Dismondy’s books include The Juice Box Bully, Chocolate Milk Por Favor, and her most recent book, Fruit Salad Friend.  In addition, Maria offers coaching services for published authors and is founder of the hybrid publishing company Cardinal Rule Press. You can find Maria’s website at mariadismondy.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on October 16th, 2017.