Monday, August 13, 2012

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt

This book was written by the author of "The Wednesday Wars", and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Doug and his family move to Marysville, New York, and he's having a hard time adjusting. His father is mentally and physically abusive, and his brothers give him a hard time too. His oldest brother goes off to fight in Vietnam, and his other brother has a reputation as a juvenile delinquent. He meets a girl named Lil, but they don't get along right away. Doug's life changes when he visits the library and starts learning to draw pictures of birds. He also starts working for Lil's father on Saturday's by delivering groceries around the small town. The job gives Doug the opportunity to meet various characters in the community, and they each change his life in different ways. Doug's life really changes when his brother returns from Vietnam, but will his return lead to bigger troubles or to a better life?

This book kind of snuck up on me, and it turned out to be better than I expected. The author shared Doug's feelings of despair as he tried to survive his life in Marysville. His life seemed on a downward spiral until he met Mr. Powell at the library. It was interesting how the pictures of the birds were similar to Doug's life. Be sure to make the connections, or you'll miss major points in the plot. There is humor as Doug interacts with various characters, but the plot has many serious moments. The book won't appeal to everyone, but it worked for me.

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