J's Reviews > Okay for Now

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
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Aug 14, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, middle-school-fiction

I can't tell you how many times I cried while reading this. I realize I just killed this book for all guys by saying that, but don't be put off. Schmidt wrote this book for young men. He pushes all your buttons and doesn't let up. He takes a character, Doug, from his book "The Wednesday Wars", moves him to a new town, and lets him suffer an abusive father, being the new kid in town, illiteracy, a vindictive gym teacher, and a brother fighting in Vietnam. One scene where his father abuses him, though not graphic in violence, is so emotionally torturous it still haunts me. There's even more, but I won't overwhelm you.

Then he shows him kindness, through an elderly librarian who teaches him how to draw and appreciate art; a kind word from a teacher; the gift of a jacket when he's cold; a chocolate donut from a neighbor when he's hungry; and it's enough to break your heart. Doug could have become angry and a delinquent because of everything stacked against him, but he learns to open up to the kindness of his teachers and neighbors, and it's beautiful. Schmidt will no doubt win awards for this book.

Borrowed this from the Download Library and read it on an iPad by the way, which was....cool.
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