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.
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