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Holling Hoodhood finds himself spending unwanted one-on-one time with his nemisis teacher, Mrs. Baker, all because he's the only Protestant in a predominantly Jewish and Catholic town. Set in 1967, Holling and Mrs. Baker's relationship evolves over the course of a school year as they study Shakespeare together, chase vicious rats together, visit Yankee stadium together, and provide that little bit of encouragement to one another when life shows its cruelty.

This is a beautiful story of how one teacher made a difference; however, I tend to agree with other reviews that don't think middle school students would like it. To connect to this novel, the reader must connect with history - Vietnam, hippies, racism, civil rights, and gender roles. If students don't know/understand the historical context of this novel, a lot of the themes will be lost.   flag




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