The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things to worry about, especially Vietnam. Then there's the family business. As far as Holling's father is concerned, the Hoodhoods need to be on their best behavior: the success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? Rats, for one thing; cream puff, for another. Then there's Doug Swieteck's brother. And that's just for starters....
©2007 Gary D. Schmidt; (P)2007 Scholastic Inc.
It is rare when an excellent book is combined with a suitably excellent narrator. I've listened to many books and this is one of the best narrators that I've listened to. He is perfect for the book because his Holling voice sounds young yet his vivid voices provides faces of the book characters.
A quick review in Amazon will show you that this is an excellent book to read, however, I think that it is even better to listen to it as an audiobook because of the wit and some of the Shakespeare lines.
Before I listened to the book I thought it was about smart alec kid who outwitted his teachers and I was previewing it for my son because it did get high reviews. It's not, it's about a kid who it just doing his best. Holling (our young protagonist) is a thoroughly well-rounded character who is Every Boy. During the book, his experiences with his teachers, friends and family mature him and we laugh at some of his missteps and thoughts along the way.
I highly recommend it.
This book surprised me. A 7th grade boy in 1968 going to school. It started out just as cute as I expected, but by the end it had turned into something much deeper. It addressed the social issues of Vietnam, religious prejudice, love of money over family, marriage and family relations, and reaching your potential. All of these were addressed in a way that a 7th grader and an adult could laugh and cry at. This is a great book. I will probably read this one with my kids on the next road trip. There is a lot to laugh about and a lot to talk about.
We still have about an hour left of this book and are SO wishing it wouldn't end. My daughters (7 and 11) have been listening with me in the car as we commute and there have been times I almost needed to pull off the road. I laughed so hard I was crying. Then there are poignant moments, so sweet and heart wrenching -- and I cried for them too. I'm not especially weepy; this is just a really good book. My daughters have already read a good bit of Shakespeare, but this inspired them to read more and go back to some favorites. They loved the Caliban curses: Toads, beetles, bats!
This was a sweet story. It's amazing how the author makes you fall in love with the characters and you don't even know it!
Yes, I would rather listen to this story, it it funny and that comes across better in the audio.
Holling being convinced that the teacher hated him--she actually might have, he was the only one in her classroom every afternoon.
First one for me.
It wasn't predictable. The characters were so interesting & you felt like you knew them. This was a great book!
Hollingsworth, because you felt for him. We cheered when it went well for him & was sad when it didn't.
I usually don't enjoy books written for younger readers, but this one has enough mature elements to make it highly enjoyable.
The performance competes for first place for me with the actual novel. Joel Johnstone reads in completely believable voices, often dripping sarcasm. Love Danny's breaking voice! And the novel is a masterpiece. I loved it. It's touching and funny and serious and smart all at the same time.
It would be a spoiler, but it has to do with miracles and strawberries.
I think Holling is my favorite, though I loved Mrs. Baker, Holling's dad, and Danny too.
Highly recommended. For anyone over age 9. Truly a great book.
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I kept thinking what fun it would be to listen to this while driving cross-country with a car load of middle school kids. Creative, interesting and just plain fun as you watch the relationship between Holling and Mrs Baker evolve over the course of the year as they explore the works of Shakespeare. Set in 1967 with all its political turmoil... Vietnam and Martin Luther King... Beatles and flower children. Nice job Mr. Schmidt!
This is a story of one year in the life of Holling Hoodhood, a 7th Grade boy in 1967. There is no single plot to drive this story, but rather it's a series of interconnected anecdotes from that year. The writing is great and I enjoyed the stories and characters. The relationship between Holling and his teacher is central to the novel. Holling's father is a stereotypically conservative father of that era, and was almost too much. I liked how history is interwoven in this story. Also central - Shakespeare. Holling's teacher makes him read many plays. While I sort of enjoyed that as an adult, I had a hard time believing a 7th grade boy would connect so well with The Bard. I suspended my belief and chose to enjoy that, too, but I wonder how a 12 year old reader would relate to that. As a man who was 12 years old myself in 1967, this novel captured the era with heart and humor, and I liked it.
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