Okay for Now
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
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“The Dump” is what Doug Swieteck calls his new home in upstate New York. He lands there in the summer of 1968, when the Apollo space missions are under way, Joe Pepitone is slugging for the New York Yankees, and the Vietnam War is raging. At home he lives with a father who has lost his way and a brother accused of robbery. And Doug’s oldest brother is returning from Vietnam. Who knows what wounds his missions have given him?
But Doug has his own mission, too, and it begins when he first sees the plates of John James Audubon’s Birds of America at the local library. His mission will lead him to Lil Spicer, who shows him how to drink a really cold Coke, to Mrs. Windermere, who drags him to a theater opening, and to the customers of his Saturday grocery deliveries, who together will open a world as strange to him as the lunar landscape.
Swieteck, who first appeared in Gary D. Schmidt’s Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars, will discover the transforming power of art over disaster in a story about creativity and loss, love and recovery, and survival.
Gary D. Schmidt is the author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, which won both Newbery and Printz Honors, and The Wednesday Wars, winner of a Newbery Honor. Schmidt teaches writing in the English Department of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in the MFA Writing for Children program at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck has the weight of the world upon him â?? no friends, an alcoholic father and a brother who has just been injured in Vietnam. But the protagonist of this NPR Backseat Book Club book finds solace in an unlikely place â?? the pages of Audubon's Birds of America. More at NPR.org
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