It’s the summer of 1968, and with NASA making its first attempt to land a man on the moon, anything is possible. Meet Doug Swieteck: fourteen years old, unwelcome in a new town, and frustrated by the crummy lineup that is his life. His father is unpredictable and abusive, his older brother a bully, his oldest brother fighting in Vietnam, and his mother trying her best to smile and hold them all together. Trouble finds Doug everywhere, but he stumbles upon solace in the pages of John James Audubon’s famous book Birds of America, and in the way Lil Spicer smiles when she teases him. As Doug learns to draw Audubon’s birds, page by page, he discovers a way to make things make sense for once. Gary D. Schmidt’s Okay for Now reminds us that inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places, and people will often pleasantly surprise you, if you let them.
By Elisha S.