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Okay for Now

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  17,379 ratings  ·  3,506 reviews

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

Hardcover, 360 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Clarion Books
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
1st out of 168 books — 680 voters
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysDivergent by Veronica RothA Monster Calls by Patrick NessOkay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Mock Printz 2012
4th out of 50 books — 271 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Sep 17, 2012 Emily May rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
My favourite books are always those that prove me wrong, that break my own rules. I used to say I didn't like the traditional or "high" fantasy genre, and then Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta proved that I had actually just not found the right brand of traditional fantasy to suit me. As a rule, I tend to avoid like the plague young adult books that are about dealing with the death of a loved one or teenage pregnancy... but Please Ignore Vera Dietz and How to Save a Life proved that I ju ...more
I don't think I've cried this much over a book since Mockingjay. Okay for Now must be one of the most bitter-sweet stories out there. Exhilarating is probably the best word to describe it.

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
oh, wow.

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

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
Gary Schmidt’s earlier work,The Wednesday Wars, introduced readers to Doug Swieteck as a secondary character, but Doug takes front stage in Okay For Now, its 2011 companion novel. While they are both quirky, Okay For Now is riddled with darkness that its predecessor didn’t have, and that kind of heaviness usually appeals to me, at least when it is well done. After reading both of these books, Gary Schmidt has shot himself in the foot going forward; From here on out, I’ll be expecting perfection. ...more
I read this in one evening, staying up until after midnight on a school night to read it. Gary Schmidt is a genius and I fell in love with Doug.
Sep 01, 2011 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Minli
Shelves: ya, read-in-2011, audio
I think that it may have been a mistake to read this so quickly after finishing The Wednesday Wars. Going into this I just kept noticing things…like the way that Doug goes along with everything until he learns to stand up for himself…or the way that there are special teachers who help him improve his life…or the way that he is inspired by art, and interprets it differently based on his different life situations.

Do you know what that feels like?

When you’re reading a second novel from an author wh

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
If there's any justice in the world, this should be sporting a Medal or two after next ALA Midwinter. If anything, though, I think Doug Swieteck's experiences in a new small town as he finds his balance and helps several other people regain their own is a TOO rich melange of themes, metaphors, characters of varying intellectual and emotional depth, chain-pulling lines for teachers and librarians, twists on conventional triumphs (specifically the Meeting A Famous Real Athlete one and the Being In ...more
There are three kinds of literary sequels for kids out there. First, you have the sequel that is so intricately tied into the plot of the first book that not a page goes by that you don’t feel you’re missing something if you skipped Book #1. The second kind of sequel nods to the first book and brings up continual facts from it, but is a coherant story in its own right. The third kind of sequel makes mention of facts and/or people in the first book but if you read the story on your own you might ...more
Lynn Pribus
I did enjoy this YA novel -- but somehow it felt just a bit "off." As if it was written for Newberry Award judges rather than kids, even if Doug often says "I'm not lying."

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
Copied from my review of the audio version.

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
Abby Johnson
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. This book broke my heart about 17 times and patched it back together each time.

Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
By the time I finished Okay for Now, I had read almost forty books this year. And while a large number of them were geared towards teens, especially boys. On my list this year there is James Dashner's gripping taleThe Maze Runner, where Lord of the Flies meets Lost. In fantasy, I read Brandon Mull's A World Without Heroes and Brandon Sanderson's The Rithmatist, both excellent in their own right. Robison Wells' Variant kept me turning pages late into the night, as did David Farland's Nightingale. ...more
Sam Fletcher
This is honestly one of the most special books I've ever read. on several occasions I was moved to tears. I almost can't even formulate a proper thought.

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
I’m absolutely in love with Okay For Now by Gary D. Scmidt. Whether it’s the endearing characters -in particular Doug Swieteck who worships Joe Pepitone and is concerned about being a chump, the multiple themes that all built on each other, the late 1960s setting in MY state or Scmidt’s capture of the essence of growing up. Frankly, it’s love. My feelings for Okay For Now, that is.

Read the rest of my review here
Funny, heartbreaking, and so emotionally true it will wring readers right out. It captures 1968-69 with effortless exactitude.
Jenny Esplin
Doug Swieteck is real. I swear he's real. I'm not lying.

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

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.

Everyone should.

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
Mike Mullin
I'm pretty sure I just finished the 2012 Newbery winner. Yeah, it's that good. If this is becomes another Gary Schmidt should-have-won, I may have to commit career suicide by picketing the ALA.

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
The last book I read over the holiday break was an e-galley of Gary Schmidt's OKAY FOR NOW, a fantastic and (is it possible?) even stronger follow-up to THE WEDNESDAY WARS. It's a companion book, rather than a sequel, since this one is told through the eyes of Holling Hoodhood's classmate, 14-year-old Doug Swieteck as his family moves to a stupid new town where he has no friends and where everyone seems intent on judging him based on the reputation of his scofflaw older brother. The voice in thi ...more
Suzette Kunz
In this book, Schmidt takes Doug, a minor character in Wednesday Wars, and tells his story. At the beginning of the book, he moves with his family to Marysville NY. Although his father is abusive and there are a lot of problems in the home, Doug connects with a lot of the people in the town and finds a way out of a lot of his problems. I love that Schmidt shows that people in hard situations can rise above them. He shows people at their best instead of at their worst. It's a very hopeful book.

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
Feb 24, 2013 Ceecee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Louis Sachar, Disney, or The Wonder Years vibe
Recommended to Ceecee by: Emily May
I hate Doug Swieteck.

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
I read this book because I saw someone important speak who said that this was the best children's novel in the past ten years. That is high praise indeed.

And it was really, really good. I liked it a lot. Doug, the protagonist, has a clear, true, relatable voice; the situations he describes or hints at are convincing and funny and heartbreaking and it's all very well done.

Toward the end of the book, though, there were a lot of things happening that I hadn't had time to get invested in, which chan
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, because they're really key to the story. ...more
I've read some pretty amazing young adult books this year, but this one was simply fantastic. I think it resonated so well with me because I look into the faces of students every day that are like Doug, beaten down, given up on, and no hope in their eyes. The story is a wonderful one about an abused boy who tries to not be his father or his brother and wants to make his own road in the world. Most don't even give him a chance. Do you know what it feels like?

First sentence: Joe Pepitone once gave
There's nothing epic about this book. There're no fireworks or monsters; it's not mysterious or action-packed, and neither is it a page turner. I've lost count of the number of days I've taken to complete this (I haven't completed it actually).

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
This has got to be one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Uh.May.Zing. This is my third Gary Schmidt book and he is incredible! Incredible.

The Wednesday Wars was written in the voice of Holling Hoodhood. This book is written in the voice of his friend, Doug Swieteck. Doug has to move to another town and he starts 8th grade there. It was a difficult read for me because Doug has a hard life (and I'm not lying). I spent 1/2 the book crying and the other 1/2 smiling and crying at the same t
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YA Reads for Teac...: * I Recommend This Book To You! 65 299 Dec 02, 2014 01:31PM  
IS THE LITTLE GIRL DIED 2 24 Sep 26, 2014 06:24AM  
Okay for Now and The Fault In Our Stars 5 56 Jul 29, 2014 10:38AM  
How old are Doug and Lil? 3 18 Aug 23, 2013 06:33AM  
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

More about Gary D. Schmidt...
The Wednesday Wars Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy Trouble What Came from the Stars Straw Into Gold

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“Mr. Powell raised an eyebrow. 'I'm a librarian,' he said. 'I always know what I'm talking about.” 141 likes
“You know, there are good reasons to learn how to read. Poetry isn't one of them. I mean, so what if two roads go two ways in a wood? So what? Who cares if it made all that big a difference? What difference? And why should I have to guess what the difference is? Isn't that what he's supposed to say?

Why can't poets just say what they want to say and then shut up?”
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