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wizzle

The War With Mr. Wizzle

The War With Mr. Wizzle is the fourth installment in the Macdonald Hall Series. Like all the other books, this one was republished in 2003 with new cover art and title ("The Wizzle War"). However, because the book deals largely with technological advancements and talks about computers and software, it had to be rewritten and updated to match how abundant technology is today. For instance, in the 1982 version, the character Mr. Wizzle brings in a large machine-like computer called a Magnetronic 515, which according to Elmer is the most modern computer an institution like Macdonald Hall could have. In the updated 2003 version, the abundance of computers in the school is present but the character Mr. Wizzle comes up with, instead of a new computer, a new software program (called “Wizzleware”) that he's determining to run everything. The book was originally written in 1982 by Gordon Korman.

Plot

Macdonald Hall starts off the year in a fix due to this new dress code, and Bruno, Boots, and the rest of the ensemble soon find out that a new assistant, Walter C. Wizzle, is instituting the new functions. He institutes a dress code, a demerit system, schedules psychological tests for the students, and worst of all, calls the institute in danger of becoming 'a dinosaur' and starts installing a new software program called Wizzleware (that he wrote himself) to handle all office, school, and teaching functions. The school atmosphere becomes strict and restricted for everyone, including the teachers, staff, and Headmaster Sturgeon. The only person not standing for it is Bruno Walton, who starts up a committee against Wizzle and his functions, and with the gradual help of other students comes up of ways to remove Wizzle from the school. They write a Free Press newspaper, exchange his anticipated printer paper with toilet paper and napkins, and work at night in the gym building a large comic Wizzle balloon. With the help of genius Elmer Drimsdale, they give Wizzle earthquakes at night. But the problems aren't only at Macdonald Hall - across the road at Scrimmage's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Ms. Scrimmage hires a new assistant for herself, Ms. Peabody, who is from the Marines. She turns the school into an army camp with her strict physical training exercises and morning calisthenics. Both schools have their share of problems and both have their own amount of counter-attacks on the assistants until Bruno and Cathy, from Scrimmage's, get the idea to marry the two assistants off. Through romantic talking and dinners they actually manage to get them married, and the two schools turn back to normal.

Characters

Bruno Walton The protagonist of the novel. He starts up the committee, all the subcommittees, and then the coalition with Boots and Cathy from Scrimmage's to get rid of Wizzle and then both Wizzle and Peabody.

Boots O'Neal (Melvin O'Neal) Boot's best friend who at first can't take Bruno's schemes anymore and leaves his committee in fear of getting in trouble (as with everyone else at the beginning).

Walter C. Wizzle The new educational assistant and antoganist of the book. He comes to Macdonald Hall from university with many ideas to revolutionize the way the school works with his ideas, for the sake of progress. His goal is to modernize Macdonald Hall as the school of the future with his software program and rules based on his psychological research. As a result of his teaching methods the school atmosphere becomes tense and rigid due to his dress code and the teachers don't like him, including the Headmaster, Mr. Sturgeon, who has an intense dislike of the man. The students won't tolerate him as long as he's at the school.

William R. Sturgeon The headmaster of Macdonald Hall. He is a firm but kind headmaster who privately harbors admiration for his students. He dislikes Mr. Wizzle's methods and demeanor right from the beginning.

Ms. Scrimmage The headmistress of the girls' school across the road. Very old-fashioned, she hires an assistant who goes on to take over the school as a more strict physical education facility

Gloria Peabody An ex-marine from Fort Constitution (a marine training camp) who becomes Ms. Scrimmage's assistant. She enforces strenuous physical activities as punishments and has a very harsh personality. She enforces military-like activities like a march and war games.

References

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