Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 5, 2011
recent historical middle-grade
Guys, this book is so beautiful. I cry, and I laugh, and I smile, and I go around in public looking like an irredeemable fool and I don't care because Okay For Now is just that magical.
So I thought that since there's no way I can do this book justice, and because this book is so. effin'. quotable, well... why not?
(Feel free to skim these; I know I included a lot, hehe. It's the book, seriously. I repeat, it's so quotable. But if I were you, I'd read them all. They're beautiful.)
That day I was supposed to have my last After School Detention with Mr. Ferris again, but when I came in, he told me to report to Miss Cowper’s room.Mr. Ferris is probably the awesomest adult in the whole book -- and trust me, Okay For Now has a TON of awesome adults.
“How come?” I said.
“Because I am a mean old crank who is likely to beat you if you don’t,” he said.
“I think I better go to Miss Cowper’s room,” I said.
“I think you better,” he said, and started Clarence rocking.
It was cold, and I’m not lying. The sky was iron, and Mrs. Windermere’s coffee had worn off way before I got back into town, even before I passed the open meadow.Look at that writing. He's not going full-out metaphor jewels a la Markus Zusak; it's just: "the sky was iron". Absolutely elegant.
Mrs. Daugherty was keeping my bowl of cream of wheat hot, and she had a special treat with it, she said. It was bananas.PAHAHAH OH DOUG
In the whole story of the world, bananas have never once been a special treat.
Mrs. Windermere nodded then turned quickly to her typewriter and began smacking at the keys. Her hands flew high. Petrels in the wind.Again. "Petrels in the wind". Absolute elegance.
She [Lil] smiled and opened up one of the books on New Zealand. You know how pretty someone can be when she opens up a book?I would hope so. ;)
pg. 301 – 302
“The Great Esquimaux Curlew. An actor if ever there was one.”Birds and drawing are such an important part of this story... and so is the relationship between Lil and Doug. Teehee.
He was right. The Great Esquimaux Curlew looked like he was just coming
onstage, his body leaning forward, his neck stretched out, his bill stuck up in the air like he was about to sing or something. The composition was stable, with his body right in the center against a mound of grasses—also in the center. And the only thing that upset all this was his bill, which you looked at first because it seemed to stick out above the scenery—and it was upside down.
“Am I supposed to look like that when I come on stage?” said Lil.
I’m no chump. I didn’t say a thing.
pg. 303 – 304
Here’s how you practice shrieking like an insane woman who has been locked in an attic for a great many years:So much comes out in this passage: Doug's love for baseball, his unique voice, his dedication... <3
You stand in the middle of the field.
You look around to be sure that no one is going to hear you.
You breathe in a couple of times to get as much air in your chest as you can.
You stretch your neck up like the Great Esquimaux Curlew.
You imagine that it’s Game Seven of the World Series and it’s the bottom of the ninth and Joe Pepitone is rounding third base and the throw is coming in and the catcher has his glove up waiting for the ball and Joe Pepitone is probably going to be out and the game will be over and the Yankees will lose.
Then you let out your shriek, because that’s how everyone in Yankee Stadium would be shrieking right then.
That’s how you practice shrieking like an insane woman who has been locked in an attic for a great many years. And you keep doing it over and over again until all the birds in Marysville have flown away.
You know one thing that Mr. Powell taught me? He taught me that sometimes, art can make you forget everything else all around you. That’s what art can do. And I guess that’s what happened to Mr. Barber, who forgot that his left foot was behind the back leg of my chair. Who took a step without remembering to take his foot away from the back of my chair. Who tripped, but caught himself. But who couldn’t the coffee that flew out of his cup, swirled around in the air for a second, and finally splashed down all over my Geography: The Story of the World and started to soak into the pages as fast as it could.Teeeeehehehehehe.
I won’t tell you the sound that Mr. Barber made. It was something like the shriek an insane woman who has been locked in an attic for a great many years would make.
So tell me: will you check this book out? Or have you already? And if you did, what did you think??