General YA Fiction
E/A Schmidt, Gary D. Okay For Now. Clarion Books, 2011. 368p. 978-0-547-15260-8. 16.99.
In this companion book to Wednesday Wars, Schmidt focuses on Holling Hoodhood’s best friend, Doug Swieteck. Just weeks before Doug is set to start 8th grade in 1968, his dad loses his job and moves the family upstate. Doug’s family life is complicated; his oldest brother is in Vietnam, his middle brother is a troublemaker, his dad is abusive and his mother is a pushover. To keep busy, Doug spends time at the library admiring the John Audubon book (and learning to draw the beautiful birds) and delivering groceries for the local grocer. He also makes a great friend in Lil Spicer (the daughter of the grocery store owner) and several of his customers. Through it all though, Doug must contend with the humiliation that both his father and brother often cause him. Like Wednesday Wars, Schmidt masterfully mixes a little humor into this otherwise realistic family drama. It’s a great read for all ages. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve