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The Resource Okay for now, by Gary D. Schmidt

Okay for now, by Gary D. Schmidt

Label
Okay for now
Title
Okay for now
Statement of responsibility
by Gary D. Schmidt
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
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
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2012
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2011
  • Jefferson Cup Award for Older Readers, 2012.
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2011.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ 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 --Riva Pollard (Reviewed April 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 4, p184)
  • 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.) --Staff (Reviewed February 21, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 08, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ It's 1968. The Vietnam War and Apollo 11 are in the background, and between a war in a distant land and a spacecraft heading to the moon, Doug Swieteck starts a new life in tiny Marysville, N.Y. He hates "stupid Marysville," so far from home and his beloved Yankee Stadium, and he may have moved away, but his cruel father and abusive brothers are still with him. Readers of the Newbery Honor–winning The Wednesday Wars (2007) will remember Doug, now less edgy and gradually more open to the possibilities of life in a small town. Each chapter opens with a print of a John James Audubon painting, and Mr. Powell, the town librarian, teaches Doug to paint and see the world as an artist. He meets pretty Lillian Spicer, just the feisty friend Doug needs, and a whole cast of small-town characters opens Doug to what he might be in the world. 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. By the end of this tale, replete with allusions to Our Town, Doug realizes he's pretty happy in Marysville, where holding hands with the green-eyed girl—and a first kiss—rival whatever might be happening on the moon. (Historical fiction. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2011)
Awards note
National Book Award Finalist, 2011.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
390694
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Schmidt, Gary D
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • Middle School
  • 850
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.S3527
LC item number
Ok 2011
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 9
Reading level
  • 4.9
  • 5.5
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Reading Counts!
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Coming of age
  • Family problems
  • Friendship
  • Audubon, John James
  • New York (State)
  • Audubon, John James
  • Audubon, John James
  • Families
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Junior high schools
  • Friendship
  • Theater
  • Bildungsromans
  • Family life
  • High schools
  • Friendship
  • Broadway (New York, N.Y.)
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Families
  • Friendship
  • Junior high schools
  • Theater
  • New York (State)
  • New York (State)
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Okay for now, by Gary D. Schmidt
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Companion to the Newbery Honor Book The Wednesday Wars"--Cover
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
360 p.
Isbn
9780329913755
Isbn Type
(FollettBound)
Lccn
2010942981
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)697552072
Label
Okay for now, by Gary D. Schmidt
Publication
Note
"Companion to the Newbery Honor Book The Wednesday Wars"--Cover
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
360 p.
Isbn
9780329913755
Isbn Type
(FollettBound)
Lccn
2010942981
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)697552072

Subject

Genre

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Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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