Lynn Pribus's Reviews > Okay for Now

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
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May 25, 13

Read in May, 2011

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 SILAS MARNER.

Doug is a sweet kid with a father you love to hate. By the end of the book, the father has evidently completely reformed without any mention of him for many chapters and no explanation why he "saw the light."

Doug's older (of two elder) brothers comes home from Viet Nam with serious problems which, of course, Doug is instrumental in solving.

There are interesting adult characters along the way, but all in all, the style and structure of the book seemed flawed to me. Obviously, not true for the judges.



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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I read Jane Eyre in seventh grade and I loved it. The reference to Jane Eyre in this novel was fine for me. If you never try to see what children know, how will you know what they can accomplish? I think middle-school age students understand, or try to understand, more than we know. Besides, anyone who hasn't read Jane Eyre will probably want to after reading this book. I agree with you about the reformation of the father, though. It seemed a bit abrupt and out-of-the-blue. Maybe it fits with the story, however. In this book, the reader senses Doug's happiness is often short lived. With the father's unexplained goodness, the reader wonders if this is a fleeting moment for Doug. The behavior of the father is like Lil in the hospital; it's a cliffhanger. I liked this book. No writer is perfect, obviously, but I appreciated this book for its upbeat voice.


Gail I remember buying a scholastic Audubon book in sixth grade - it facinated me even then and began a life long affair with art/birds/artists. Being a military brat who came of age during the vietnam conflict, I can totally relate. I currently work in a library and know that kids are interested in and know about lots of things their parents/teachers may not be aware of. I think you are limiting and definitely not giving kids enough credit!


Kristen Badger I totally agree with your review. It felt like it was written for adults who criticize young adult books and not for young adults themselves. I personally enjoyed it but can not think of a single student who I would recommend it to.


message 4: by Boboline (new)

Boboline i hate this book their should have been way more kissing


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