At the start of Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt I almost put the book down. Doug Swieteck (a character from The Wednesday Wars)is beaten up by his brother for a signed Joe Pepitone baseball cap (the first thing Doug ever owned that was not a hand-me-down)and quietly admits to his other brother beating him up before he's drafted into the army and to his dad having "quick hands." However I kept going and proceeded to read the book in one day. Doug moves to a small town in the Catskill Mountains and has life changing experiences. He befriends a girl and a librarian/artist, gets a job, finds caring teachers and develops an appreciation of the art of John James Audobon. The librarian helps Doug understand Audobon and the plates of paintings of birds on display in the library. His job delivering groceries introduces him to the townspeople including a writer who owns one of the Audobon paintings sold out of the book in the library (Doug begins a mission to have all the plates returned). Doug's brother is accused of robbing a hardware store and the grocery store and Doug needs to deal with the changing attitudes of the townspeople and school staff as they assume he is guilty by association. There is so much going on here and Schmidt had me rooting for Doug throughout the book. There are twists and turns (spoilers I can't discuss) and you too will root for Doug. This is an amazing book and I love it. If you haven't read THE WEDNESDAY WARS read that one now as this one is not being published until April. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley.
P.S. OKAY FOR NOW is now available.