In The Wednesday Wars, author Gary Schmidt walks a young man through life lessons as he and his teacher read the works of William Shakespeare. Okay for Now continues with Doug Swieteck, a character we saw in the first book. Doug’s family has moved to a small town in upstate New York. Family life presents numerous challenges as does starting over in a new place and a new school. Schmidt taps into the art world, specifically John James Audubon’s Birds of America to help Doug discover his gift of drawing and to work through life’s issues. Friends and caring adults support and encourage Doug as he makes his way through the minefield of an injured brother’s return from the Vietnam War, another brother’s delinquency, and his father’s abuse. This is a great novel. I loved The Wednesdays Wars and this one matches it for humor, poignancy, and the impact the arts can have on our lives.

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