His latest title, Okay for Now, kept me laughing and crying - he really is quite an author! This is the story of Doug Swieteck, who we first saw in The Wednesday Wars. You certainly do not have to read Wednesday Wars to know what is going on in this book - they are both stand-alones. (But if you do not read Wednesday Wars in your lifetime - that would be a horrible sadness!!) Doug's life is not an easy one - his father is a total loser of a father - he is abusive and mean. His mom tries hard to be a tender mom, but she seems powerless in the face of his father. And then his brother, seems to be taking after his father - mean and abusive as well. And another brother that is in Vietnam fighting and returns home - to teach us all the realities of what happened to many of our vets when they returned home, scarred and sad.
So that leaves Doug on his own, trying to get through school with some teachers that are even against him. His bright spots seem to be Lil, his adorable girlfriend that is just the sweetest character in this novel, and the customers that he delivers food to each Saturday - yes, even dear Mrs. Windmere! I could go on and on on this one - I will just say - it resounds with readers - you find yourself laughing along, shaking your head "yes" - because you just "get it." OH, and I almost forgot - I loved the WONDERFUL bird-theme in this one as well!! I love everything about it and I will sing Schmidt's praises until I rest in my grave - he is a master storyteller!!