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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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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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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  • LB
  • 02-27-21

This is a great book!

There is not one thing about this book that I didn’t absolutely love! The way the author tells his story is ingenious. The reader was perfect in every way. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages!

1 person found this helpful

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One of the Best Books Ever

I am a mom who loved listening to this book with my 17 year old son. It’s our second Gary D. Schmidt book second to “The Wednesday Wars.” It’s a fantastic touching story, and the narrator is very engaging. My son kept asking me if we could play it, and I personally plan to listen to it again and again because I enjoy the way the author writes. I couldn’t help picture the main character older than he is in the book. I’m thinking 15 or 16 rather than an 8th grader. FYI, There are some spoilers to Jane Eyre which I’ve already read, so it didn’t affect me. However, I wouldn’t have liked that had I not read it since it’s one of my all-time favorite classics. Overall “Okay for Now” is one of the best books I’ve ever read! Highly recommend!

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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amazing

amazing perfomance great story awsome careters good places I love this book so much.

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Amazing narration

I LOVED this story! I laughed out loud, I also gasped and held my breath. I didn’t want it to end and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this little town full of characters. Wow!

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Another Great Gary Schmidt

We listen to this one right after listening to the Wednesday wars. You can listen to it pendantly but the characters are somewhat the same. It was another great book. The narrator is different job. This is good for kids, used, and adults alike. It is very very touching book

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You've got to listen to this. And I'm not lying!

This is such a fun listen. It would speak to everyone who felt insecure and unsure through Jr. High School. It helps you remember all the miracles that happen on a young life. it even makes you love baseball stats! But the best part is s the narration.

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Amazing!

There is a terrific range of characters all of which have two sides represented. The plot is clever and the narrator has a voice that won’t annoy you out of your pun brain. It is a great book for kids around seven and up to adult. It is a fun read and I hope you enjoy!