This book is by the same author as Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy which if you haven't read, you really must.
Anyway, I really, really loved this book. I think I liked it more than some other people will because I used to be an English teacher before I became a librarian and there are many funny references to English teachers in there. There are really so many funny things in this book, and the English teacher jokes are just one part. You've got to figure that if the main character is named Holling Hoodhood, the author has some kind of sense of humor.
This is poor Holling's story, who since he's not Catholic and not Jewish, like EVERY OTHER kid in his class, has to stay at school on Wednesdays when everyone else goes to Catechism or Hebrew school. And if that's not enough, he has to stay with Mrs. Baker who he assumes hates him. He's actually really quie sure of it when she makes him start reading Shakespeare, but it turns out Shakespeare isn't half bad, actually. In fact, when it comes right down to it, Shakespeare's pretty cool. Imagine! Playing a part in a play where he has to wear yellow tights with feathers on his bum, however, not so cool.
This book also has a serious side, as it's set during the Vietnam war and deals with a variety of war-related issues.
This is one of the top books I've read in a while! We'll be getting this title soon.