Wow! I just finished Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. I loved every page. The characters are brilliantly written, the story is touching, and the plot kept me reading well passed my bedtime. The relationships that Doug creates with his family, his peers and the townspeople of Marysville are the very heart of the book. I love how Schmidt allows the story to unfold through Doug's personal interactions. Schmidt never has to tell us that Doug is special, he let the other characters tell us through the bonds they form with him. Doug's transformation from a broken, angry kid to a boy with hope is simple and touching. Schmidt writes with humor and hope, anger and pain, and captures the spirit of a young boy in Doug.
Here are just a few of my favorite lines:
"Underneath the glass was this book. A huge book. A huge, huge book. Its pages were longer than a good-size baseball bat. I'm not lying. And on the whole page, there was only one picture. Of a bird."
"OKAY. So I was going to the library every Saturday. So what? So what? It's not like I was reading books or anything."
"By the way, in case you weren't paying attention or something, did you catch what Mr. Powell called me? 'Young artist.' I bet you missed that."
"You know what that feels like?
It feels like having Principal Peattie tell you that not a single teacher in the whole school gives a rip about you - not a rip - because they all gave up on you a long time ago, like on the day you started."
"Polly had this book about a house in a forest where Laura lives with Pa and Ma and her sisters. You'd be surprised how good this was, especially considering that nothing happens."
"'So is Lilian your girlfriend?' said Mrs. Windermere.
'Skinny Delivery Boy, you know I never beat around the bush. Yes or no?'
I looked at Lil. She looked at me. She wasn't planning to be helpful with this. I looked back at Mrs. Windermere.
'Yes," I said.
I looked back at Lil. Smiling."
"You know what it feels like to stroke color onto an Arctic Tern flying off the page, going wherever he wants to go?
Schmidt has a way of turning dialogue into poetry. Poetry even Doug Swieteck would love.
Blog you later!