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
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
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
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). If you've read my status updates for this book, it's indescribable.
I can't even quote the best parts...more
Read the rest of my review here
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
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.)
Doug is a sweet kid with...more
Doug Swieteck is a minor character in Schmidt’s "Wednesday Wars", but "Okay for Now" is Doug’s book.
The story takes place in the small town of Marysville, NY where Douglas Swieteck and his family have just moved to accommodate his abusive father’s new job. Doug is not happy about the move. The adjustment to the new town and school are difficult and create the backdrop for much of the story. One of the heroes in this story is the town librarian who helps to ease Doug's transition to...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
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
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
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...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
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 for Now follows Doug Swieteck, a character in The Wednesday Wars, to a new town and a new beginning. Doug has a rough family life, a volatile father, one brother in Vietnam and one who is always picking on him, and a loving, but powerless mother. Needless to say, Doug is rough around the edges, but Marysville, despite his init...more
Suffice it say that is an excellent companion piece to "Wednesday Wars" which I thoroughly enjoyed. Yet, While "Wednesday Wars" centers around adorable Holling Hoodhood, who, sure has some crap he has to deal with (namely: shitty dad), "Okay for Now"'s Doug has a whole plethora (thank you Kaitlyn Warren for your high school obsession with that word) of crap to deal with.
Again, we have the terrible father (I think we may have daddy issue...more
That said, I couldn't get past the use of "I'm not lying" and "stupid" every other sentence. Way over-used and took away from the gorgeous writing in other parts.
I also did not like the end--throwing in a last-minute friend's illness seemed unnecessary and a bit contrived...and the relationship with the father just felt disjointed...more
Okay For Now is one of those books that adults who read Children's and YA lit will love, but that tweens and teens are unlikely the gravitate towards on their own. It would be ideal for tween/teen books clubs, 7th and 8th grade English classes, and summer readings lists because alt...more
I enjoyed this book very much. The characters were well developed and I appreciated the story line and the underlying messages. My favorite part of the book was...more
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a...more
Doug is in junior high, his family just relocated to a small town, and he's miserable. While his mom is sweet as can be, his dad is a bitter, abusive jerk, and his older brother is a horrible bully who terrorizes him any chance he gets.
Doug is sweet, smart, and such a great kid you just want to reach in the book and give him...more
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Why can't poets just say what they want to say and then shut up?”