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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Okay for Now | Gary D. Schmidt
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Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt
PUBLISHER: Clarion Books
NO. PAGES: 368
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
ALA-ALSC Childrens Notable Book
National Book Award Finalist
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews - Best Children or Starred Review
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
ISBN: 0547152604
READ & REVIEWED BY: Shannon - StorySnoop

The Story
Okay for Now—Book Review

Fourteen-year-old Doug doesn't have much going for him. He just moved to a new town, has no friends, and his older brother is a jerk. As Doug works hard to be more than the thug that people believe him to be, he finds an unlikely ally named Lil. Since she believes in him, he begins to believe in himself--and learn things about himself that he never knew. Through Lil and a connection he has made at the library, Doug finds the strength to endure his life: a town suspicious of him, an abusive father, and his brother, home from Vietnam and forever scarred. Doug learns not only how to survive his existence--but how to thrive in it.
The Scoop
Okay for Now—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Written by a two-time Newbery Honor winning author, Okay for Now is one of those excellent books that is exceptional in the literary sense, and that teens will find compulsively readable as well. While some of the subject matter is serious, the tone is balanced with a bit of humor that serves to lighten things up. Doug is a flawed character who finds himself and turns his life around. He is a good person stuck in a bad situation; his alcoholic father is physically and verbally abusive, his mother is passive, and his oldest brother returns home from Vietnam emotionally damaged. In the midst of all of this negativity, Doug decides that it is up to him to make his life what he wants it to be, rather than letting his family or his town determine his fate. He takes charge of his life through incredible optimism and an indomitable spirit. While some adults (a P.E. teacher and his principal) are unkind to Doug, others support him. An especially touching friendship that he forges with a librarian changes his life when, inspired by paintings of birds in an Audubon book, Doug learns to draw and discovers his passion for art. With the help of a kind teacher, Doug overcomes his illiteracy. Okay for Now's themes of hope, friendship, community, perseverance, and self-discovery make it an inspiring read that is never over-the-top corny. Although it is a companion book to The Wednesday Wars, it is not necessary to have read the previous book to enjoy this one.
>Book review trailer from YouTube:
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by booksbyB {ADULT}
on Thursday, March 28th, 2013 11:09:03 AM

Great read! Although set in the Vietnam era, the story is timely for the here and now. Doug is a very likeable character who tries hard to NOT be like the male role models closest to him. His perseverance and work ethic is admirable without being "goody two shoes". Schmidt gives a very realistic voice of this first person narrative.
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Okay for Now—Book Review

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