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Publisher's Summary

As a 14-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt.

As Doug struggles to be more than the skinny thug that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, a fiery young lady who smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain. In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubons birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

©2011 Gary D. Schmidt (P)2011 Listening Library

What listeners say about Okay for Now

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  • Overall
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Life is good even when its not...

Loved Schmidt's book Wednesday's Wars and was not disappointed in this book which continues the life of the main character's best friend.

Book is intended for teens - but crosses the adult divide and makes for a nice lite listen. Lincoln is a great reader and perfect match for the central character.

3 people found this helpful

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Almost 5 stars, but not quite

I really wanted to give this book a 5 star review. I really loved the way the author returned again and again to His bird metaphor. I also feel he did an excellent job capturing the voice and thoughts of his adolescent protagonist, and the other characters in the story were rich and well-developed. That said, there were a couple of unbelievable elements that really frustrated me. First, one important plot element is that one of the characters can’t read. However is the course of a few months that character goes from illiteracy to reading Jane Eyre. As a middle school English teacher, I found that extremely frustrating. I work with students who struggle with illiteracy all the time, and it is NEVER that easy. I feel this book is insulting to educators in the way it oversimplifies a huge issue in education. My second frustration is less of an issue, but it has to do with a Broadway play that comes up in the story. Somehow a couple characters end up cast in the production against their wills without ever even trying out. That is simply absurd. Still, overall this was a very well-written book. I think it approaches some important and difficult issues (especially Vietnam) in an intelligent way. I just wish the author would have done a little more research into illiteracy before making t an issue in his book. The narrator was very good.

1 person found this helpful

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Yay 😀! Finally a amazing book 📖

I loved it this time and it was great! You should put this book 📖 on sale, if you do, more people will want to buy it!

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant Writing

Gary D. Schmidt has a brilliant way of writing that is compelling for teenage readers (my junior high-age son loved this book) and even more so for adults who understand the depth and layers woven throughout the story that youth readers may miss. His way of telling this story is simply outstanding.

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Excellent! A must listen!

This is a beautifully weaved story. I love the characters and the journey the main character takes in his life.

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Great Book

My son really enjoyed this book. The issues are subtle and the issues were very real. Every character shows attributes that everyone can learn from.

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Great for a tween

A really good coming of age story. A few interesting twists. The audible version takes some getting used to, as the 12 year old vernacular and repetitions begin to get old. However, as the character changes so does his language, making it more listenable. I preferred reading it, though, the performance is excellent.

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amazing and emotional

very inspiring with so many layers. not a moment of boredom. even though I'm an adult, I found myself tearful sometimes. one of the best novels I've ever read

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Wow!

What a wonderful, wonderful book! I can’t say enough. You just need to read it!

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Glorious novel!

This novel blends so many beautiful elements of storytelling together: growth, inspiration, being an adolescent, along with capturing the era of the late 1960s. I will remember these characters, Schmidst prose and the narrator's voice for a long time to come!