Okay for Now
I adore Gary Schmidt, as do two of my kids. Fans of E. L. Konigsburg will love this. From the publisher: "As a fourteen-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 Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage."
National Book Award Finalist “[A] stealthily powerful, unexpectedly affirming story of discovering and rescuing one’s best self.”—Booklist, starred reviewIn this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. 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.