If you can force yourself to get past the harshness of the first couple of chapters, the teen novel¹ Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt blossoms into a moving story about…well, a little of everything. Doug Swieteck is an eighth-grader who moves to a small town in upstate New York in 1968. He’s the youngest boy in a family of abusive males, with the oldest brother off fighting in Vietnam. Imagine hiding what you care about to keep it safe from your own family, knowing that eventually it will be found and taken away. This pretty much sums up Doug’s family life. A new town should mean a fresh start, but Doug is too unhappy to notice at first. Then he discovers Audubon’s Birds of America at the local library. The arctic tern, diving straight down into the water with a “terrified eye,” captures his imagination. Honestly, this is one of those books that you don’t want to ruin by telling too much about the plot. Out of context, it might sound silly, and it’s not. There are a couple of things that are farfetched, but by that point you’ll be under the book’s spell and willing to suspend your disbelief. I recommend Okay For Now, especially to anyone old enough to remember the Apollo 11 mission. Just for the record, my father dragged me out of bed to witness the moon landing, even though I was only five. He wanted my brother and me to watch and remember, conveying to us how really amazing that moment in history was. Well, this book isn’t quite as amazing as that, but I’d still like to drag you over to it, put it in your hands, and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.¹Children’s book? Middle school novel? Who even cares? A good book is a good book.