professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Okay for Now

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt (Clarion, April 2011) is one of those books that sucks you in and never lets you go even after the last page is turned. Doug has moved to a new house in a new town. He pretty much has learned how to survive on his own. His father is incredibly abusive (and the way in which Schmidt handles these scenes is delicately and honestly at the same time), his older brothers seem to have taken after Dad. Even Doug knows he can be excessively sharp and critical. Things change, though, when Doug meets Lil. Lil is the daughter of the local grocery store owner. Soon Doug is delivering groceries and meeting the other residents of the town. It is the library, however, that really changes Doug's life. A chance sighting of a plate from an Audubon book alters the way Doug sees art, life, and his own destiny. How Schmidt is able to tackle topics as diverse as abuse, art, the war in Vietman, and so much more is part of his talent. Readers never feel overwhelmed with the problems Doug faces. They have come to trust Schmidt and his ability to craft characters who can survive, but actually do more than simply survive: they surmount. <71>
Tags: abuse, art, audubon, historical fiction, library, nature, vietnam
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