Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Okay for Now
I had this book on my Kindle for months. Over a year actually, and I just couldn't bring myself to be interested in it. I have a problem with meaningful books. I convince myself that they are going to be dry, heavy-handed, and slow, but most of the time I end up enjoying the book.
I more than enjoyed Okay for Now, I was absorbed by this book. This is the story of Doug Swieteck, good friend of Holling Hoodhood from The Wednesday Wars. Doug's down-on-his-luck dad gets a new job out of town, so the whole family moves. But from the start, things are tense at the Swieteck household. Doug's dad is out all night, his brother seems to be enemy number 1 in the eyes of the police, but Doug wants to get away from all of that. He starts with the library, and starts learning to draw birds from kindly librarian Mr. Powell. Then, he gets a job delivering for the deli, and he even starts getting along better with his teachers.
But as Doug says often in this book, when things are going good, something bad is bound to happen. There is abuse in Doug's family, his brother comes home from Vietnam wounded and different, and Doug can't read. Then Doug works his way back. This is a kid that wants to be good, but his family life is bringing him down. Thankfully there are many people that believe in him, and even those that don't, he will prove them wrong.
Okay for Now is an endearing book. I felt so deeply for Doug and his struggles and I was so excited for him, and slightly embarrassed at times too (his theatrical deput was even more embarrassing than Holling Hoodhood's deput!).
I highly recommend this book to everyone that has read The Wednesday Wars, and anyone that just wants a good story. This would be an excellent addition to a unit on Vietnam, art, theater, and there are many other instances where a couple passages from this book will say more than an hour long lecture.
Don't be like me and let this sit on your Kindle for over a year!