Kelly Thielen's Reviews > Okay for Now

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
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F_50x66
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Nov 27, 12

bookshelves: coming-of-age, middle-school, historical-fiction
Read in January, 2012

When Doug Swieteck's dad loses his job, his life is abruptly changed. The family moves away from Doug's friends in Long Island for what Doug terms a "dump" in upstate New York in a little town called Marysville where his dad has landed a job at the Ballard Paper Mill. Adjusting to life in Marysville is tough. He is one of the only new 8th graders in town, and people don't seem to be real accepting of him. Things get worse when Doug's older brother is suspected of causing trouble in town and the townspeople just figure that Doug is just like his brother - which he isn't. Things get a little better when he meets Lil and Mr. Powell and finds that he has a hidden talent, but things are never really easy. The town is experiencing theft, Doug's brother continues to be the prime suspect, his other older brother arrives home from Vietnam, not at all like he left, Doug's dad is abusive and mean, and school isn't getting any easier. Then when things couldn't get much worse, his best friend in Marysville finds herself up against a monster and Doug can't fix any of it. Will life ever turn in his favor?

I loved this story, though I found myself wondering if kids would enjoy it as much as adults. I think kids who like character driven, emotional stories will love it. Those who desire plot driven adventures will pass. I personally will recommend it to students who read this type of book and enjoy it.
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