Okay for Now

Gary D. Schmidt, Clarion, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-547-15260-8
This companion to The Wednesday Wars follows the formula of Schmidt's Newbery Honor winner with less success. Doug Swieteck, a prankster in the previous book, has graver problems than Holling Hoodhood did, making the interplay of pathos and slapstick humor an uneasy fit. In summer 1968, the Swietecks leave Long Island for the Catskills, where Doug's father has found work. Doug's mother (like Holling's) is kind but ineffectual; Mr. Swieteck is a brutish jerk. His abuse of his three sons, one of whom is currently in Vietnam, happens mostly offstage, but one episode of unthinkable cruelty is recounted as a flashback to explain why Doug refuses to take off his shirt in gym class. Doug does make two key friends: Lil, whose father owns the deli for which Doug becomes delivery boy, and the less fleshed-out Mr. Powell, a librarian who instantly sees Doug's potential as an artist. There are lovely moments, but the late addition of an implausible subplot in which Lil, who has never shown an interest in acting, is drafted for a role in a Broadway play, seems desultory considering the story's weightier elements. Ages 10–14. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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FORMATS
Prebound-Glued - 360 pages - 978-0-606-31670-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91589-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-313-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91595-5
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-547-53417-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91594-8
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-544-02280-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-89029-9
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