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There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'The Wednesday Wars'

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During the first seventeen years of my career as a librarian I worked in youth services and pretty much read only children or young adult literature. So when I inadvertently checked out a young adult audiobook I was still game to listen to it and was so glad I did.

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads." This book was so good that I felt it was necessary to veer from our usual adult titles and share it with you. Gary Schmidt’s book The Wednesday Wars, published in 2007 is a Newbery honor book. It spans Holling Hoodhood’s seventh grade year.

As he begins the year he is convinced his teacher Mrs. Baker hates him. Every Wednesday afternoon all his fellow students are released from the school day early to attend either Hebrew School or Catechism class, he is the only Presbyterian in the class. So, Mrs. Baker has to come up with something for him to do every Wednesday. The first few weeks she has him clean desks and chalkboards and erasers. But when one of those chores causes a disaster she turns to teaching him Shakespearean plays.

Over the course of the year Holling grows up. He goes on his first date, makes the track team, acts in a Shakespearean play, helps to capture the two class rats that have been scurrying around the school ceiling for months, meets Mickey Mantle and a few other famous Yankees, improves his relationship with his older sister and comes to value Mrs. Baker.

This is such a fun book. If you’re looking for something light and heartwarming to read then you must read this. And if you’re going on a family road trip and need an audiobook that would be appropriate for the whole family, you must listen to The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt!

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.