Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Looking for Newbery - Okay for Now
Frequent readers of Literate Lives know how Karen and I feel about Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt. This book has been at the top of my list since the beginning and that hasn't changed. I have used it as my "measuring stick" this year. Everything I read was compared to Okay for Now.
In all of his books, Gary Schmidt creates and develops characters that stick with the reader even after the book is finished. In Okay for Now he brings back a minor character from The Wednesday Wars and develops him and his family into a story that keeps the reader interested and moving through the book.
Doug Swieteck is a boy with a tough life. An abusive father, a troubled brother, a mom who just tries to keep things together for her family. Fortunately he meets some people who take an interest in his life and help him through the tough times. Mr. Powell the librarian who spots some talent in Doug and helps him develop it. Lil Spicer, a girl his age who befriends him and even helps him get a job and a science teacher that treats him as an individual, not his brother.
I wrote a more complete review here, and we used it at our first Grand Discussion this year which I wrote about here. We recently looked at a list counting the number of awards that various books have won, Okay for Now was down the line a bit, but as far as I'm concerned, it's still number one.