Saturday, May 21, 2011

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt


It's 1968 and Doug has just moved.  He's not exactly crazy about making new friends and starting school somewhere new in the fall, but of course, he doesn't have any choice.

As usual Doug's brother gets out of all the unpacking and settling in chores.  Their rental house has much to be desired, and Doug quickly nicknames it THE DUMP.  His mother tries her best to make it comfortable as everyone listens to his father complain about his new job and how no one appreciates his hard work.

Doug discovers the local library.  Rather than the books, he is attracted to a collection of valuable Audubon prints.  The birds amaze him.  When one librarian sees his fascination, he challenges Doug to attempt his own drawings.  Doug is surprised to find a hidden artistic talent. 

In addition to his weekly trips to the library, Doug passes time during his first summer in town delivering groceries for the little neighborhood store.  He learns his way around town and meets many of the locals as he pulls his deliver wagon from one street to the next.  All his customers seem welcoming until his brother is suspected in several recent criminal activities.  His brother usually manages to mess things up where Doug is concerned.

Author Gary D. Schmidt continues the story he started in THE WEDNESDAY WARS.  Multiple plot lines will keep readers interested.  Doug struggles to steer clear of his abusive father, avoid his brother, stay out of trouble in school, and keep the secret of why he isn't successful in his classes.  When Doug finds there are people who care and are willing to help him discover his potential, he begins to lose his cocky attitude and blossom.

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