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
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Actual rating : 4.5 stars
There is something to be said for a book which manages to make me tear out on page 3 over a jacket, don't you think?
Indeed Okay for Now is a beautiful coming of age story which is every bit as powerful as what I expect from my favorite authors in the YA realistic genre, such as A.S. King, Melina Marchetta or Hannah Moskowitz.
What you need to know is that every character, even the weirdest of all, rings true, and above that, evolves throughout the story. Be prepared for ...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
“Okay for Now” by Gary Schmidt is a heartwarming young adult historical novel centered around eighth grader Douglas Swieteck. After Doug’s abusive father loses his job, the whole family moves to Marysville in upstate New York. In the new town, Doug’s older brother is accused of robbery, and Doug himself is struggling to be more than just a “skinny thug” that some townsfolk believe him to be. However, things start to look different when Doug befriends Lil Spicer, the daughter of ...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
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
Read the rest of my review here
And the writing is just SO effective, like (view spoiler)[the moment when Doug finally names his brother. And the repeated, "Do you know how that feels?" (hide spoiler)]
This part made me tear up:
"I bet Clarence was rocking every day for the rest of the week, and eve ...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 can’t say enough good about this book. Doug’s voice is strong and compelling ...more
What a lovely surprise this book was, and just what the doctor ordered, just as the grey slog of Winter sets in.
I had read some very positive reviews, but from the book summary, i couldn't gather much that would excite me. Still, after a series of daunting, nightmarisch thrillers, it was time for something decidedly milder.
OKAY FOR NOW is a wonderful little coming-of-age story that very much reminded me of the TV series, THE WONDER YEARS (if you don't know it, go and find it!).
The story centers ...more
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Why can't poets just say what they want to say and then shut up?”