the wednesday wars

When gods die, they die hard. It's not like they fade away, or grow old, or fall asleep. They die in fire and pain, and when they come out of you, they leave your guts burned. It hurts more than anything you can talk about. And maybe worst of all is, you're not sure if there will ever be another god to fill their place. Or if you'd ever want another god to fill their place. You don't want fire to go out inside you twice.

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A few weeks ago Kimberly called asking for book recommendations, specifically books worth buying. I didn't have any. I'd given up. And sunk into even further literary disillusionment when an afternoon at Anderson-Foothill yielded only three books I was remotely interested in---two of which I actually read, only one that I vaguely enjoyed. It was sad. I was sad. Would it be creaky and cranky of me to say that they just don't write Young Adult fiction like they used to?

Still. If I have to cut through the campus bookstore anyhow I might as well walk the YA shelves, you know, just because and maybe. And if I'm going to walk by I should probably look, too, just the top ten shelf and sometimes in the K's if only to make double-double-sure E.L. Konigsburg hasn't written and released anything new since the yesterday I checked. And occasionally, when there's five or fifteen or fifty minutes until my next class, I read. I know. Glutton for punishment.

Until one day, like today, you read. And you read, and you read, and you read. And midway into said reading, reading, reading, you realize two things and then three:

1. You are not leaving the bookstore without this.
2. But it's hardcover.
3. You don't care.

Which is why Gary D. Schmidt's Wednesday Wars is on my mum's bookshelf as I type. You read, you buy, you immediately want to share. Everybody, anybody. This book is Example A to my argument that great YA authors are the only true. The real writers. The sovereign storytellers. Kim, you still got that Barnes&Noble card? Wednesday Wars. Worth buying.

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And, on the last day before the holiday break, to Mai Thi: "Pick it up and be glad you're getting it. You shouldn't even be here, sitting like a queen in a refugee home while American boys are sitting in swamps on Christmas Day. They're the ones who should be here. Not you."

Mai Thi took her Something. She looked down, and kept going.

She probably didn't see that Mrs. Bigio was pulling her hairnet down lower over her face, because she was almost crying.

And probably Mrs. Bigio didn't see that Mai Thi was almost crying, too.

But I did. I saw them. And I wondered how many gods were dying in both of them right then, and whether any of them could be saved.


A. said...

I've been thinking about all of the books you told me to read when I was at your place last week. Now it's a must. I'm getting this one. Now.

Kimberly said...


M Shepherd said...

Do you know about the crazy sales at The King's English this Saturday?

Sum said...

I just requested this at the library. Can't wait to read!