3rd review of My Best Loved Books: Books that change the Heart and Mind
A Favorite Quote: “Maybe this happens to you every day, but I think it was the first time I could hardly wait to show something that I’d done to someone who would care besides my mother. You know how that feels?” -Gary D.Schmidt, Okay For Now
Okay For Now written by Gary D. Schmidt
published by: Clarion Books in April 2011
Midwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.
My take on it:
Doug Swieteck is 12 years old, moving to a new town, and leaving the few friends he’s ever had. His family is a mess. He’s the type of boy other kids avoid. Neighborhood adults and teachers label him as the “trouble-maker” everywhere he goes and he’s always struggled in school. How can he possibly turn his life around at this point? What Doug needs is someone who won’t give up on him even when he seems to give up on himself, but that is harder than one might think. I loved this book. It makes you think twice about the way you see others, make judgments about them and then treat them. You never know what someone’s been through to make them who they are. I walked away from this book thinking about how I could make a difference. Also about how we all can make a difference in your own life despite difficult circumstances. I loved the way Gary Schmidt wrote the voice of Doug. It really felt like I was inside the mind of a troubled 12 year-old boy.
This is a book that I hope my kids will enjoy reading when they are a little older. I have a 9 year-old boy and two younger girls. Maybe I could even read it with them when they’re older and ready! (I have all kinds of dreams about reading certain books with my kiddos.) This is a MUST read!