Okay for Now
Midwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli ow...more
If you've read The Wednesday Wars, you already know the main character of this novel - Doug Swieteck. While this companion novel follows the formula and themes of The Wednesday Wars, Doug's story is a heavier one. Holling's problems are nothing compared to Doug's. His father is quick with his hands, his elder...more
ariel is going to be so cross with me - this betrayal is worse than my love of graceling. but it has to be said: i liked this book even better than the wednesday wars.
i gave them both 4 stars because i'm nutty like that, but i feel more for this character than for goody-gumdrops holling, even though i did love the wednesday wars a lot.
doug's obstacles are just so much greater than having to wear feathers on his b*tt, and while he remains eerily good-natured throughout his struggles, he...more
Consider the following: an author proposes writing a middle grade novel involving John James Audubon’s Birds of America, an emotionally abusive father, a Vietnam veteran brother, the classic novel Jane Eyre, the New York Yankees, an eccentric playwright, a business executive who is both an expert at horseshoes as he is at cultivating orchids – you would probably consider him crazy and usher him out the door. But only author Gary Schmidt could weave all the...more
Do you know what that feels like?
When you’re reading a second novel from an author wh...more
First, I think I should say two things: a)This review is going to be really cheesy, and b)that horrific cover does in NO WAY this book justice. I don't care if this is a 'boy' book aimed at middle schoolers, it made this seventeen-year old girl cry and laugh and cry some more to the point that everyone else in my house was a little worried (thank goodness I didn't read this in public).
I can't even quote the best parts in this book because each line builds upon everything you know about...more
Kids don't know about Audubon without some explanation (which could easily have been provided by the Wise Older Man at the library.) Kids don't "get" references to "Dear Reader, I kissed her," even though Doug had been reading JANE EYRE in class -- a VERY unlikely eighth grade assignment, even in 1965. I think it was still SI...more
If you liked The Wednesday Wars, you must read this. Schmidt hits a lot of the same notes again, but his style - the voice, the characters, the whole thing - is so pitch perfect that I immediately wanted to start it over from the beginning (a rare feeling for me). In fact, I listened to the audio and then read the print version a few months later. The only downside to the audio is that you'll want to look up the Audubon illustrations in a book or online...more
Read the rest of my review here
The writing style is so simple, through the voice of this young boy. Doug personally experiences so much, as well as his family. His story is almost equally tragic as it is beautiful.
The book started off pretty slow, but the pace picked up when the family made the move to Marysville. That's when I was unable to put the book down. That's when I...more
This is the kind of book that when you set it down and look up, you have to blink a few times before you remember where you are. And when reality hits you, you get this sinking sensation in your chest and you feel like crying. Because in reality, there isn't a fourteen-year-old boy named Doug Swieteck who just moved into a dumpy house in a small town in New York. It isn't 1969, the Vietnam War is long over, and space travel has lost its won...more
I hate what a chump he is, that he's a bundle of insecurities, conflicts, trying to be a tough guy, but really he's soft inside. You can't believe how much I dislike "bad boys", I can't believe Doug could make me hate him so much. Here's this troubled kid, with quite a shitty dad, a troublesome brother, thank God he has a wonderful mother,and this new kid in town, Doug, no one likes him, he's not exactly Holling Hoodhood, but he's a really good kid. A really good kid. And th...more
I'm not lying.
And I'm no chump in saying so.
Perhaps I should just leave it at that and hope you have the good sense to buy and read the book, if you haven't already.
OKAY FOR NOW deserves the Newbery Award --- not a Newbery Honor, but the award, in my humble opinion.
And my opinion is humble, but it better be accurate in this case. I have to warn you, I have Christopher Swieteck waiting in the wings to do some arm-twisting.
This is a book about family --- mostly, the Swiete...more
First sentence: Joe Pepitone once gave...more
But what this book is is like a good, warm, cup of whatever beverage with the power to calm you down after a particularly nasty nightmare. Especially if said nightmare goes by the name of Life. Okay for Now is an apt title in this regard. You know those b...more
This particular novel is difficult at times because it deals with an abusive father. There is a scene in it that I will...more
Okay, first I have to say, I hate this cover. It makes this book look like any blah contemporary YA about an emo boy.
I have never read The Wednesday Wars, but I was able to read Okay For Now without missing a beat. Doug Sweiteck has a horrible, I mean, horrible home life in a way that gets under your skin. I could punch his father. I could punch his mother for not doing anything about his father! He has two brothers, one who is away in Vietnam, the other who is just really mean I coul...more
Doug Swieteck has just moved to "Stupid" Marysville, NY, and he hates it there. He meets all sorts of people there, and he learns about how people prejudge and overcome those prejudgments. The novel takes place in 1969, with men about to walk on the moon and the Vietnam War and all of its protests in full swing. Doug is busy learning about art--James Audobon's birds, in particular...more
Doug Swieteck was introduced in the other Gary Schmidt novel I read, Wednesday Wars. Here he's the main character, just moving to a tiny town in Upstate New York. He has an abusive father, a wonderful mother, bully brothers and a whole host of other interesting characters. In fact, one of the things I liked best about this story was how you got to see wh...more
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Why can't poets just say what they want to say and then shut up?”