I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH AND I HAVEN'T EVEN FINISHED IT!!!! It is placed in the 1960's, and follows Holling Hoodhood's story of seventh grade. In the beginning, he is convinced that his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him because he is a different religion than all of his classmates, so he has to stay in the classroom on Wednesday afternoons when everyone goes to their churches during school. (Remember, this is in the 1960's.) You get a lot of politics here. (Spoiler alert.) MLK dies. Vietnam war. Stuff like that. Holling's sister wants to be a flower child. Mickey Mantle is mentioned, but is only present in one chapter. Violence: Two rats chase Holling and get ran over by a bus. Holling chucks a snowball at the bully. Holling gets hit by bus while saving sister. (He only gets bruises, but rushed to the hospital. Mai Thi is Vietnamese, and is bullied in school. Danny gets tripped and gets "bloody knees." Romance/stuff like that: Meryl Lee has a love/hate relationship with Holling. Valentine's day is...interesting, but nothing bad happens. One kiss, nothing is described. Holling is Ariel in the play, The Tempest, and has to wear yellow tights with white feathers on the behind. Language: Holling tries out some of the curses that Shakespeare wrote in his plays, no swear words though. A couple of boys use the word, "pied ninny" on some antagonist characters. Drinking/drugs/smoking: eighth graders smoke in the school bathroom, Holling's mom smokes secretly, without her husband knowing. Brands: Coke.
I really love a lot of the characters, the only one I hate is Holling's dad, who is a very selfish businessman. It's a really funny book!!!! ONE OF MY FAVORITES!