Teen Stuff: Okay For Now, by Gary Schmidt

Perhaps you read The Wednesday Wars and fell in love with it, as I did. If so, you are in luck, and even if not, you’re in luck. Author Gary Schmidt presents his latest young adult novel, Okay For Now, which is a companion piece to his Newbery Honor book, The Wednesday Wars. The books are written so you can read them independently, but there are some overlapping characters.

Set in 1968, Okay For Now focuses on 8th grader Doug Sweitek, one of the class bullies gone good in The Wednesday Wars. Doug comes from a troubled home, and he and his two older brothers have reputations for being rotten eggs. His father has a heavy fist he has to duck from, but his mother is sweet and supportive, and has a smile that melts Doug’s heart.

After moving to a new town he hates, Doug spends his summer at the local library, where he makes a friend and falls in love with the Audubon book plates housed there. It is a summer of birds, drawing, new friends, family, fights, baseball, Vietnam, Coca-Cola, and Jane Eyre. This book is a truly delightful read.


Great post, manz. Both Okay for Now and The Wednesday Wars have been on my wishlist for a while now. Sounds like summer is the perfect time to get to them. I like the idea of taking the bully/antagonist from one book and telling the companion story from his perspective. I'd like to take a page out of that sense of empathy and apply it to my own life.

My friend read this, and said it was very good. I plan to read it!

This was an amazing book - I'll be surprised if it doesn't win Newbery Honors at the least (and it may very well win the top award).

I read it on my nook, though, and was a little disappointed - the illustrations aren't very good in that format (and it's hard to flip back to them when they are mentioned in the text).

sounds like a good book

I heard that this is a good book for all ages, not just teens. I hope they're right, because I'm adding it to my reading list!

It is a great book for adults, too! My book group read it, and there wasn't a negative review in the bunch.

sounds good! i'll request it!

I'll try to get around to reading this.

I am going to put in for this and give them a try, they sound really good.

sounds really good

A fantastic book. I'd recommend reading The Wednesday Wars first if you can, since this book would contain a couple spoilers to that story. However, it stands alone well too.