Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
I loved Wednesday Wars so I was very excited to hear there was a sequel coming out. The main character from Wednesday Wars does make a quick appearance but that's about it. I was expecting something very different but I still really enjoyed what I got.
Doug's family is moving to a new town in Upstate New York where his father found work. Doug's father is has a very quick and violet temper, which is aided by his drinking. Doug is the youngest brother of three. The oldest, Lucas was drafted and is his fighting in the Vietnam war. Doug is treated badly by both brothers.
Doug shares only when he's ready, slowly revealing everything that's going on at home. Doug is fascinated by Audubon's work which is on display at the local library, though he would never admit it or maybe he simply doesn't have the words yet Mr. Powell, the librarian is smart enough to realize this and never questions Doug about this appreciation for Audubon's work. Mr. Powell simply gives Doug drawing lessons.
At the beginning of each chapter there are Audbuon's bird drawings. Schmidt is seamlessly introducing Audobon to young readers. Doug interest feels natural as does his need to hide it.
Doug's voice is close to perfect. From the beginning, it's honest, sincere and vulnerable. Okay for Now is a well layered story. I wouldn't even know where to begin to break it down. And to do so might take away from some of its beauty. I highly recommend it.
Read chapter one
Okay for Now received a starred review from, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal