Okay for Now

( 219 )

Overview


National Book Award Finalist

"[A] stealthily powerful, unexpectedly affirming story of discovering and rescuing one’s best self."—Booklist, starred review

In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the "skinny thug" that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of ...

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Overview


National Book Award Finalist

"[A] stealthily powerful, unexpectedly affirming story of discovering and rescuing one’s best self."—Booklist, starred review

In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the "skinny thug" that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

Winner of the 2012 Children's Choice Book Award for Grades 5-6

Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The first Barnes & Noble Recommends choice for Young Readers features an endearing character who you will love to root for.

Brian Monahan

From the Publisher

"This is Schmidt's best novel yet—darker than The Wednesday Wars and written with more restraint, but with the same expert attention to voice, character and big ideas."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Reproductions of Audubon plates introduce each chapter in this stealthily powerful, unexpectedly affirming story of discovering and rescuing one’s best self, despite family pressure to do otherwise."—Booklist, starred review

"Readers will miss Doug and his world when they’re done, and will feel richer for having experienced his engaging, tough, and endearing story."—School Library Journal, starred review

"The book is exceptionally well written. Schmidt creates characters that will remain with the reader long after the book is done. Doug’s voice is unforgettable as he tries to help and protect his mom. . . .While there is much stacked against him, he is a character filled with hope that the reader cannot help but root for. Push this one on readers; they will not be sorry. . . .Schmidt writes a journal-type story with a sharp attention to detail, patterns in the story line, and an unexpected twist at the end."–VOYA

Richard Peck
…beneath the jumble of tragedy and tragicomedy is a story about the healing power of art and about a boy's intellectual awakening…"You know what it feels like," Doug says to his wounded brother and Mr. Powell, "to stroke color onto an Arctic tern flying off the page, going wherever he wants to go?" "Terrific." And so is this book.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
This companion to The Wednesday Wars follows the formula of Schmidt's Newbery Honor winner with less success. Doug Swieteck, a prankster in the previous book, has graver problems than Holling Hoodhood did, making the interplay of pathos and slapstick humor an uneasy fit. In summer 1968, the Swietecks leave Long Island for the Catskills, where Doug's father has found work. Doug's mother (like Holling's) is kind but ineffectual; Mr. Swieteck is a brutish jerk. His abuse of his three sons, one of whom is currently in Vietnam, happens mostly offstage, but one episode of unthinkable cruelty is recounted as a flashback to explain why Doug refuses to take off his shirt in gym class. Doug does make two key friends: Lil, whose father owns the deli for which Doug becomes delivery boy, and the less fleshed-out Mr. Powell, a librarian who instantly sees Doug's potential as an artist. There are lovely moments, but the late addition of an implausible subplot in which Lil, who has never shown an interest in acting, is drafted for a role in a Broadway play, seems desultory considering the story's weightier elements. Ages 10–14. (Apr.)
ALAN Review - Katie Harris
Living in a home he has appropriately called "The Dump," Doug Swieteck is the new kid in a small town. Between his abusive father and bullying brother, Doug doesn't have much to look forward to during his new year at Washington Irving Junior High. The anticipated arrival of his other brother from Vietnam can only make things worse. However, Doug's life begins to change when he steps into Marysville Public Library and spots John James Audubon's Birds of America. Discovering the power of creativity, Doug begins a search that leads him to people and places within Marysville that he never knew existed. Gary D. Schmidt's second novel about Doug Swieteck will remind the reader why the transformative power of art will always triumph over despair. Reviewer: Katie Harris
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—When his blowhard dad loses his job, Doug Swieteck has to say so long to his friend Holling and Camillo Junior High and get used to things in stupid Marysville, NY. His oldest brother's in Vietnam, his middle brother's still a hoodlum, his mom is quiet but enduring, and his only salvation is weekly visits to the public library, where the librarian is teaching him to draw by using models from a volume of Audubon's Birds of America. Also not too bad is Lil, the daughter of the grocer who gives him a delivery job. Fans of The Wednesday Wars (Clarion, 2007) will find that this companion novel has more in common with it than just a charismatic narrator and pitch-perfect details of daily life in the 1960s. In addition to a mix of caring adults and comically unreasonable authority figures, Schmidt also revisits baseball, theatrical escapades, and timely preoccupations like the Moon landing and the Vietnam War. But Doug's blue-collar story is much darker than Holling's in the earlier novel, and, as a narrator, he's more psychologically complex. Readers know right upfront that his father is abusive, but for a while Doug keeps the depth and magnitude—among other secrets—hidden from those around him. He grows to realize a lot about his family's relationships through study of Audubon's painted birds (one plate is featured at the start of each chapter), and the volume itself becomes a metaphor for his journey from fragmented to whole self. Schmidt manages a hard balance of relatable youth-is-hard humor and nuanced family trauma, though the mix of antics and realism is a bit Shakespearean. Readers will miss Doug and his world when they're done, and will feel richer for having experienced his engaging, tough, and endearing story.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544022805
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 36,149
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Gary D. Schmidt is the author of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. His most recent novel is The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Read an Excerpt


Chapter One: The Arctic Tern Plate CCL

Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap.

I’m not lying.

He gave it to me. To me, Doug Swieteck. To me.

Joe Pepitone and Horace Clarke came all the way out on the Island to Camillo Junior High and I threw with them. Me and Danny Hupfer and Holling Hoodhood, who were good guys. We all threw with Joe Pepitone and Horace Clarke, and we batted too. They sang to us while we swung away: "He’s a batta, he’s a battabatta- batta, he’s a batta . . ." That was their song.

And afterward, Horace Clarke gave Danny his cap, and Joe Pepitone gave Holling his jacket (probably because he felt sorry for him on account of his dumb name), and then Joe Pepitone handed me his cap. He reached out and took it off his head and handed it to me. Just like that. It was signed on the inside, so anyone could tell that it was really his. Joe Pepitone’s.

It was the only thing I ever owned that hadn’t belonged to some other Swieteck before me.

I hid it for four and a half months. Then my stupid brother found out about it. He came in at night when I was asleep and whipped my arm up behind my back so high I couldn’t even scream it hurt so bad and he told me to decide if I wanted a broken arm or if I wanted to give him Joe Pepitone’s baseball cap. I decided on the broken arm. Then he stuck his knee in the center of my spine and asked if I wanted a broken back along with the broken arm, and so I told him Joe Pepitone’s cap was in the basement behind the oil furnace.

It wasn’t, but he went downstairs anyway. That’s what a chump he is.

So I threw on a T-shirt and shorts and Joe Pepitone’s cap—which was under my pillow the whole time, the jerk—and got outside. Except he caught me. Dragged me behind the garage. Took Joe Pepitone’s baseball cap. Pummeled me in places where the bruises wouldn’t show.

A strategy that my . . . is none of your business.

I think he kept the cap for ten hours—just long enough for me to see him with it at school. Then he traded it to Link Vitelli for cigarettes, and Link Vitelli kept it for a day—just long enough for me to see him with it at school. Then Link traded it to Glenn Dillard for a comb. A comb! And Glenn Dillard kept it for a day—just long enough for me to see him with it at school. Then Glenn lost it while driving his brother’s Mustang without a license and with the top down, the jerk. It blew off somewhere on Jerusalem Avenue. I looked for it for a week.

I guess now it’s in a gutter, getting rained on or something. Probably anyone who walks by looks down and thinks it’s a piece of junk.

They’re right. That’s all it is. Now.

But once, it was the only thing I ever owned that hadn’t belonged to some other Swieteck before me.

I know. That means a big fat zero to anyone else.

I tried to talk to my father about it. But it was a wrong day. Most days are wrong days. Most days he comes home red-faced with his eyes half closed and with that deadly silence that lets you know he’d have a whole lot to say if he ever let himself get started and no one better get him started because there’s no telling when he’ll stop and if he ever did get started then pretty Mr. Culross at freaking Culross Lumber better not be the one to get him started because he’d punch pretty Mr. Culross’s freaking lights out and he didn’t care if he did lose his job over it because it’s a lousy job anyway.

That was my father not letting himself get started.

But I had a plan.

All I had to do was get my father to take me to Yankee Stadium. That’s all. If I could just see Joe Pepitone one more time. If I could just tell him what happened to my baseball cap. He’d look at me, and he’d laugh and rough up my hair, and then he’d take off his cap and he’d put it on my head. "Here, Doug," Joe Pepitone would say. Like that. "Here, Doug. You look a whole lot better in it than I do." That’s what Joe Pepitone would say. Because that’s the kind of guy he is.

That was the plan. And all I had to do was get my father to listen.

But I picked a wrong day. Because there aren’t any right days.

And my father said, "Are you crazy? Are you freaking crazy? I work forty-five hours a week to put food on the table for you, and you want me to take you to Yankee Stadium because you lost some lousy baseball cap?"

"It’s not just some lousy—"

That’s all I got out. My father’s hands are quick. That’s the kind of guy he is.

Who knows how much my father got out the day he finally let himself get started saying what he wanted to say to pretty Mr. Culross and didn’t even try to stop himself from saying it. But whatever he said, he came home with a pretty good shiner, because pretty Mr. Culross turned out to have hands even quicker than my father’s.

And pretty Mr. Culross had one other advantage: he could fire my father if he wanted to.

So my father came home with his lunch pail in his hand and a bandage on his face and the last check he would ever see from Culross Lumber, Inc., and he looked at my mother and said, "Don’t you say a thing," and he looked at me and said, "Still worried about a lousy baseball cap?" and he went upstairs and started making phone calls.

Mom kept us in the kitchen.

He came down when we were finishing supper, and Mom jumped up from the table and brought over the plate she’d been keeping warm in the oven. She set it down in front of him.

"It’s not all dried out, is it?" he said.

"I don’t think so," Mom said.

"You don’t think so," he said, then took off the aluminum foil, sighed, and reached for the ketchup. He smeared it all over his meat loaf. Thick.

Took a red bite.

"We’re moving," he said.

Chewed.

"Moving?" said my mother.

"To Marysville. Upstate." Another red bite. Chewing. "Ballard Paper Mill has a job, and Ernie Eco says he can get me in."

"Ernie Eco," said my mother quietly.

"Don’t you start about him," said my father.

"So it will begin all over again."

"I said—"

"The bars, being gone all night, coming back home when you’re—"

My father stood up.

"Which of your sons will it be this time?" my mother said.

My father looked at me.

I put my eyes down and worked at what was left of my meat loaf.

***

It took us three days to pack. My mother didn’t talk much the whole time. The first morning, she asked only two questions.

"How are we going to let Lucas know where we’ve gone?"

Lucas is my oldest brother who stopped beating me up a year and a half ago when the United States Army drafted him to beat up Vietcong instead. He’s in a delta somewhere but we don’t know any more than that because he isn’t allowed to tell us and he doesn’t write home much anyway. Fine by me.

My father looked up from his two fried eggs. "How are we going to let Lucas know where we’ve gone? The U.S. Postal Service," he said in that kind of voice that makes you feel like you are the dope of the world. "And didn’t I tell you over easy?" He pushed the plate of eggs away, picked up his mug of coffee, and looked out the window. "I’m not going to miss this freaking place," he said.

Then, "Are you going to rent a truck?" my mother asked, real quiet.

My father sipped his coffee. Sipped again.

"Ernie Eco will be down with a truck from the mill," he said.

My mother didn’t ask anything else.

My father brought home boxes from the A&P on one of those summer days when the sky is too hot to be blue and all it can work up is a hazy white. Everything is sweating, and you’re thinking that if you were up in the top—I mean, the really top—stands in Yankee Stadium, there might be a breeze, but probably there isn’t one anywhere else. My father gave me a box that still smelled like the bananas it brought up from somewhere that speaks Spanish and told me to put in whatever I had and I should throw out anything I couldn’t get in it. I did—except for Joe Pepitone’s cap because it’s lying in a gutter getting rained on, which you might remember if you cared.

So what? So what? I’m glad we’re going.

After the first day of packing, the house was a wreck. Open boxes everywhere, with all sorts of stuff thrown in. My mother tried to stick on labels and keep everything organized—like all the kitchen stuff in the boxes in the kitchen, and all the sheets and pillowcases and towels in the boxes by the linen closet upstairs, and all the sturdiest boxes by the downstairs door for my father’s tools and junk. But after he filled the boxes by the downstairs door, he started to load stuff in with the dishes, stuff like screwdrivers and wrenches and a vise that he dropped on a stack of plates, and he didn’t even turn around to look when he heard them shatter. But my mother did. She lifted out the pieces she had wrapped in newspaper, and for a moment she held them close to her. Then she dropped them back in the box like they were garbage, because that’s all they were now. Garbage.

Like Joe Pepitone’s cap.

On the third day, Ernie Eco came down with the truck, and me and my brother and Ernie Eco and my father loaded the beds and the couch and the table and chairs—the stove and the refrigerator belonged to the guy we rented the house from. After that we loaded all the boxes. My mother had dug up the garden she’d worked on and put the plants into pots and watered them for the trip, but Ernie Eco said there wasn’t any room for them and even if there were he might have to make a quick turn and they’d flip over and get the truck all dirty and so my father said to leave them and we should all get in the car since we were ready to go.

"Not yet," my mother said.

We all looked at her, kind of startled.

She went back to the pots, all lined up on the front porch, and she took three in her arms and carried them to the McCall house next door. Then she came back, took up another three, and carried them across the street to the Petronis. When she came back again, I started up to the porch to help but my father smacked me on the shoulder. "If she wants to do it, let her do it herself," he said. Ernie Eco laughed, the jerk.

So my mother carried all the pots, three by three, and put them by houses up and down the street. People started coming out on their stoops and they’d take the pots from her and put them down and they’d hug my mother and then she’d turn away.

So that’s what I was doing—watching my mother give away her plants—when Holling Hoodhood came up the street carrying a brown paper bag. I’d never seen him on this side of town before.

He waved. "Hey, Doug," he said.

"Hey," I said.

"Mr. Swieteck."

My father nodded. He watched my mother. He wanted to get going.

A minute passed. My mother was back up on the porch, gathering another armload.

"I heard you were moving," said Holling.

"You heard right," I said.

He nodded. "No eighth grade at Camillo Junior High."

"I guess not."

He nodded again.

Another minute passing.

"So," he said, "I brought you something to remember us by." He held up the bag and I took it. It wasn’t heavy.

"Thanks," I said.

Another minute.

"Where are you moving?"

"Marysville."

"Oh," said Holling. He nodded like he’d heard of it, which he hadn’t since no one has ever heard of it unless he lives there, which hardly anyone does. "Marysville."

"In the Catskills," I said.

He nodded. "It’ll be cooler up in the mountains."

I nodded. "Maybe."

He rubbed his hands together.

"You take care of yourself, Doug," he said.

"Say hi to everyone for me," I said.

"I will."

He held out his hand. I took it. We shook.

"So long, Doug."

"So long."

And he turned, walked across the street, said hi to my mother. She handed him one of her plants. He took it, and then he was gone. Like that.

"Go get in the car," said my father.

I went over to the car, but before I got in, I opened up Holling’s brown paper bag and took out what was inside. A jacket. A New York Yankees jacket. I looked at the signature on the inside of the collar. You know whose jacket this was, right?

I put it on. I didn’t care how white the sky was, or how much the whole world was sweating. It felt like the breezes on the top stands of Yankee Stadium.

"What a stupid thing to give you in the summer," said my father.

I zipped up the jacket.

"Get in the freaking car!"

Didn’t I tell you that Holling Hoodhood is a good guy?

***

When we got to Marysville, around noon, we found the house that Ernie Eco had set up for us past the Ballard Paper Mill, past the railroad yard, and past the back of a bunch of stores and an old bar that looked like no one who went in there went in happy. The house was smaller than the one we’d had, so I had to room with my brother still—and there wasn’t a bedroom for Lucas if he came home. My brother said he’d sleep on a couch in the living room at night so he didn’t have to room with a puke, but my father said he didn’t want him hanging around like he owned the place or something. So he moved his stuff up with me.

Terrific.

The first thing I had to do was find a place to hide the jacket, which my brother didn’t know was Joe Pepitone’s. If he had known, he’d have ripped it off me before we’d crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge. But he would find out. He always found out. So I kept it on, even though Holling Hoodhood was wrong and it was just as hot in Marysville as on Long Island and I was melting inside so bad that I was afraid I’d sweat Joe Pepitone’s signature off.

My father said he was going with Ernie Eco to the Ballard Paper Mill to sign some forms so he could begin work on Monday, and my mother said she didn’t think the Ballard Paper Mill would be open today, on a Saturday, and my father said what did she know about anything and left with Ernie Eco. So my brother and I carried all the furniture in, and I carried all the boxes in, except my mother told me to leave the kitchen boxes on the truck until she got the kitchen clean enough so a human being could eat in there without getting sick—which she hadn’t finished doing by the time my father got home.

It turned out to be one of the wrong days. Again. Of course. My father couldn’t figure out why my mother hadn’t gotten the kitchen ready. He couldn’t figure out why we hadn’t gotten the kitchen boxes off the truck. He couldn’t figure out why my mother hadn’t gotten groceries yet. All she had to do was walk over to Spicer’s Deli! He couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t food on the table for lunch. She had time enough to get the crucifix up in the hall, but she didn’t have time enough to make a couple of sandwiches? It was already two o’clock! And he really couldn’t figure out why Mr. Big Bucks Ballard was only going to give him a salary that was barely half of what Ernie Eco had promised.

I told him we didn’t have lunch yet because how were we supposed to know where Spicer’s Deli was and he had taken the car anyway and Mom had to clean up the kitchen because he sure wouldn’t have wanted to eat in this dump before she did that.

My father turned to look at me, and then his hand flashed out.

He has quick hands, like I told you.

"Why don’t you just stay here in your new jacket and get those boxes off the truck and into the nice, clean kitchen while we go out to find a diner?" he said. He told my mother to go get in the car, and my brother too—who smirked and swung like he was going to hit my other eye—and then they were gone, and I was left alone in The Dump.

I went down to the basement and looked around. There was only a single light bulb hanging, and it shone maybe fifteen watts. Maybe ten. A huge octopus of a furnace reached across most of the ceiling, and cobwebs hung on its tentacles, drifting up when I walked beneath them. Under the stairs it was open and dry and dark—a few old paint cans piled on top of each other, a couple of broken window frames, something dead that once had fur. I looked around and found a nail—you can always find a nail in an old basement—and hammered it in behind one of the stairs. That’s where I hung Joe Pepitone’s jacket.

Then I got those boxes off the truck.

And after that, I went out to explore the great metropolis of Marysville, New York.

Terrific.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 219 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(153)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 220 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    Highly Recommended- Check it out!

    "Okay for Now"
    I have found a new favorite book. I got my hands on an ARC for Gary Schmidt's newest. Mr Schmidt wowed me with the "The Wednesday Wars" and this is being touted as a sequel. Don't worry if you haven't read "The Wednesday Wars," but you should, "Okay for Now" is a stand alone title where the main character had just a walk on part in the first novel. Historical fiction set in the late 60's where the range of topics seems almost overwhelming but somehow are woven seamlessly together. Vietnam, space exploration, science, drawing, dyslexia, baseball, Audubon, theatre, child abuse, friendship and first love, horseshoes, criminal activity, cancer, alcholism, and things as mundane as life in junior high, delivering groceries, sipping cold Cokes on hot summer days, and small town America at it's finest.

    I love Doug Sweiteck. This is one amazingly resiliant kid, with a snarky mouth and a heart of gold. He is the youngest of three brothers and sensitive to a fault. His oldest brother Lucas was apparently something of a hellion who ends up in Vietnam where he loses his legs and almost his sight. Lucas' return sets the stage for all sorts of changes in the family. Christopher whose name we learn only late it the book, is another juvenile deliquent in the works or so we think in the beginning. The father of the story is an alcoholic bully who doesn't deserve the amazing sons he sired. Mom is an abuse victim and an enabler, who you love as Doug does, but you wish she was just that much stronger so she could save herself and her sons.

    From page to page you ride an emotional roller coaster, laugh out loud momemts are quickly followed by heartbreaking cruelty, and inpirational hope. Mr Schmidt creates characters that are very real and great mixtures of good and evil. I was sure the PE Coach was on my hate list forever, but you come to understand why he is the way he is and along with Doug give him a second chance he doesn't deserve, and this isn't the only character you are forced to change your mind about. There are also folks filled with compassion who lift Doug up when he can't do it alone.

    Doug learned from his father that when things are going really well that just means disaster is about to strike, over and over in his life this prophecy is fullfilled, but somehow even when things are at their worst Doug pushes on finding hope and new ways to make things whole. And Doug's father learns some lessons of his own, this part of the story struggles with being credible, we would all wish for the happy ending and I love that so many kid books give them to us but from the adult perspective dad's turnaround is a bit hard to believe and amazingly fast without therapy. You can certainly talk yourself into it, Lucas' return and courage inspire dad to show the same bravery. I did, happily suppending reality and accepting for Doug a new and better life. 'Tis time well spent reading this one.

    PS I LOVE that the Five Little Peppers make a guest appearance

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    Awesome Book

    I am reading this right now and I love it! I highly recommend this to others. It is AWESOME!

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    Best book ever

    I wish it would not end maybe there could be a sequel?

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Schmidt's writing cannot fail to please!

    This latest title from one of the modern masters of childrens literature is a grand slam. This is storytelling at its best - a book that speaks to themes understood by kids and adults without compromise. I can't share it with my friends fast enough! I hope it wins the Newbery award!!!!!!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Ah-mazing!

    Mr. Gary came to our school and talked to us about his new book the wednesday wars. I loved that book and i wanted to try this one. Im only on pg.34 and i loooove it gary is a mastermind genius

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Fascinating and Well Written!

    Okay for Now is the story of Doug Swieteck, a 14 year old "skinny thug" who lives in upstate New York during 1968. Doug's world is changed completely when his dad accepts a job in Northern Maryland. Everything changes when they move to Maryland, his dad always seems grumpy and is never around anymore, his mom always seems sad, is older brother is assumed a thief, which gives Doug the image of him and the town cautions everything Doug does, and he also finds out that Vietnam has changed his eldest brother, and not in the best of ways. Through all this turmoil though, Doug meets a witty girl his age named Lily, who teaches him how to drink a really cold Coke on a really hot day, and he finds a passion in drawing, especially drawing birds, which he must never reveal to his family. This story shows that even when life is unbearable, it will always end up okay, no matter how bad the times are. In my opinion, this book was well written and had many different conflicts, that each character had to deal with. The character development in this book is probably the best I've ever seen and this book was the kind that you will be reading all night long. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars and not 5, is because some of the book is only about him drawing birds, and for your information, is not very fun to read about. I would recommend this book to teenagers of any gender, young adults, adults who suffer from Vietnam Syndrome (post-traumatic stress), and people who are struggling with a recent house move.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Look

    Gotta get the book. But read wednesday wars first.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Fascinating and Well Written!

    Okay for Now is the story of Doug Swieteck, a 14 year old "skinny thug" who lives in upstate New York during 1968. Doug's world is changed completely when his dad accepts a job in Northern Maryland. Everything changes when they move to Maryland, his dad always seems grumpy and is never around anymore, his mom always seems sad, is older brother is assumed a thief, which gives Doug the image of him and the town cautions everything Doug does, and he also finds out that Vietnam has changed his eldest brother, and not in the best of ways. Through all this turmoil though, Doug meets a witty girl his age named Lily, who teaches him how to drink a really cold Coke on a really hot day, and he finds a passion in drawing, especially drawing birds, which he must never reveal to his family. This story shows that even when life is unbearable, it will always end up okay, no matter how bad the times are. In my opinion, this book was well written and had many different conflicts that each character had to deal with. The character development in this book is probably the best I've ever seen and this book was the kind that you will be reading all night long. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars and not 5, is because some of the book is only about him drawing birds, and for your information, is not very fun to read about. I would recommend this book to teenagers of any gender, young adults, adults who suffer from Vietnam Syndrome (post-traumatic stress), and people who are struggling with a recent house move.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Awesome, MUST READ!!!

    Great book, really had a great time reading it, once you get past the beginning, the story really picks up pace and will make you smile! A definite read!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Gary is beast

    What a book what detail i love it

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    I love this book

    This is the best boo kever

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2011

    Simply Fantastic

    I could not put this book down. Beautifully written, beautifully resolved. Many lessons.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Great book

    I lived in this book as I read it....and it stuck with me for days afterwards. A reminder of the positive influence that each one of us CAN have on another person by simply showing we believe in them. An amazing read

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    I think it was cool about the birds

    Well ok it was nice the fist time they mentoined the bird but the 20th time gets on my nerves who cares how to draw a bird other than that it was nice

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    Great book

    This was one of the best books that i have ever read in my life!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Anonoymous

    Best book eva

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Unbelievably wonderful

    I read few books that truly make me fall in love with the characters. Just like Harry Potter, when i finished, i was actually heartbroken i wouldnt get to grow up with these lovable characters. The friends who read this at my recommendation have RAVED. Buy this book, and buy it now!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Long but good

    This book is long but a good book and I think you shoud try it if you are a long-book reader fan.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    A MASTERPIECE!

    A MASTERPIECE is the only way to describe this book. The book flows beautifully and the characters are perfection. Mr. Schmidt captures the essence of the late sixties. Having grown up in that time period, I knew these people. Mr. Schmidt has a marvelous ability to showcase both the positive and negative in his characters making them truly human. This is just not a children's book...it will touch all who read it!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo

    It's 1968, and Doug has just moved. He's not exactly crazy about making new friends and starting school somewhere new in the fall, but of course, he doesn't have any choice. As usual, Doug's brother gets out of all the work of unpacking and settling-in chores. Their rental house leaves much to be desired, and Doug quickly nicknames it THE DUMP. His mother tries her best to make it comfortable, as everyone listens to his father complain about his new job and how no one appreciates his hard work. Doug discovers the local library. But rather than the books, he is attracted to a collection of valuable Audubon prints. The birds amaze him. When one librarian sees his fascination, he challenges Doug to attempt his own drawings. Doug is surprised to find a hidden artistic talent. In addition to his weekly trips to the library, Doug passes time during his first summer in town delivering groceries for the little neighborhood store. He learns his way around town and meets many of the locals as he pulls his delivery wagon from one street to the next. All of his customers seem welcoming, until his brother is suspected in several recent criminal activities. His brother usually manages to mess things up where Doug is concerned. Author Gary D. Schmidt continues the story he started in THE WEDNESDAY WARS here in OKAY FOR NOW, and multiple plot lines will keep readers interested. Doug struggles to steer clear of his abusive father, avoid his brother, stay out of trouble in school, and keep the secret of why he isn't successful in his classes. When Doug finds there are people who care and are willing to help him discover his potential, he finally begins to lose his cocky attitude and starts to blossom.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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