Thursday, April 14, 2011

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

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

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Summary: As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. Companion to The Wednesday Wars.

Clarion Books, 360 pages

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I liked this one a lot. I felt so bad for the main character with the way his dad and brothers treated him. It felt so real. It was really neat how Schmidt tied in Audubon's book and art lessons. These are subjects you don't see too often in middle grade fiction.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

No need to read anymore. This book is it!

cary's girl said...

I could not put this down. I loved the style of narration and I loved the story. But, at the same time, I was frustrated because moments felt a bit too contrived for me. I'm sort of torn between wondering if it's worthy of the medal or not.

sam leopold said...

This book WILL win gold in January. Nothing else comes even close to the multi-layered storytelling Gary Schmidt pulls off here. He is a genius storyteller.

Becky said...

Okay -- for now (and probably forever) I'll be hoping this is awarded the 2012 Newbery. And I'll be telling everyone I know to read it. The writing is extraordinary. Though I understand the comment concerning fear of contrived situations, I would suggest that it's the author's skillful use of unique, but historically-accurate situations that make this story so gripping. And I think kids will be gripped -- intellectually, artistically and emotionally. And Gary Schmidt, if you're listening -- that librarian quote of Mr. Powell's that will soon be part of my sig line, makes me forgive your use of the library as one of the central places in your book (which I find often overdone in children's literature :)

Anonymous said...

My favorite book this year! I loved everything about it! Wonderful historical fiction told with depth and humor.

kayakgirl said...

This should win in January, but I was hopeful that his book "Trouble" would a few years back.
Exceptional!

Anonymous said...

Okay for Now hit a homerun...Wonderstruck and Penderwicks at Point Mouette also very well done as was Amelia Lost, but Okay for Now is my favorite!

Fifi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I too loved this book, particularly the orignality of Schmidt's storytelling, and his ability to use art as a vessel for meaning. However, I could not accept the dramatic turn-around of Doug's father. The scene felt forced and unbelievable which really damaged the book as a whole in my opinion. It is still one of my favorite contenders, but I think this particular glitch may hold it back.