Downloadable Literature Guides

You can purchase the unit PLUS a Jeopardy-type game for Okay for Now for immediate download in PDF and PowerPoint formats for only $16.95! Click Here to Purchase and Download

Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt
Chosen as a Kids Wings Top Flight Book for 2012-2013

It is the summer of 1968. The United States is in a space race to be the first country to put a man on the moon. Across the world, Doug Swieteck's oldest brother is among the American troops fighting in an unpopular war in Vietnam. Soon, he will be badly injured and will return home.

At home, Doug Swieteck has grown up in a troubled family, but once he got to meet his hero, Joe Pepitone! Joe Pepitone who gave Doug his autographed Yankees cap. So what if his brother stole from him and traded it for a pack of cigarettes? Doug has known abuse all his life ... from his older brothers and his father. The summer before he goes into 8th grade, his hot-tempered, abusive father has managed to get himself fired from yet another job. Now the family must move to Marysville, New York in the Catskill Mountains where Doug expects the worst. Isn't that always the way it is? If he gets something special, it is always destroyed.

In some ways, he isn't surprised. His house in Marysville is a Dump. He knew it would be. In some ways, he is surprised. The girl who rides by and stops to talk is really pretty, but she probably thinks he is a thug, so he acts like one. Her name is Lil Spicer. She will become an important part of his life in Marysville.

Thinking there is nothing to do in stupid Marysville, it isn't long before he discovers John James Audubon's Birds of America at the library, he is drawn to the picture of the Arctic Tern. It is so beautiful, but there is fear in its eye. Doug shares its fear, the fear of being in a new town where his friends are far away.
Birds of America will become a mission, and Mr. Powell, an older librarian, will become his another important part of his life in Marysville.

What will happen when he gets his first job? Will he be able to handle the excentric Mrs. Windermere and the five Daughtery kids? How will things change when his brother gets in trouble with the law again? How does Mr. Ferris, the science teacher, make Apollo 11 part of his dreams? Who will discover his terrible secret? How will he survive?

What will Doug discover about the transforming power of art over disaster?
How will is experiences lead him to know that he will be Okay for Now through love, loss, recovery, and survival?

Okay for Now is a rare treasure that will find its way into the hearts of readers of all ages. It is an essential addition to every classroom from fifth grade through high school and provides valuable lessons along the way.

The 55-page Kids' Wings literature guide invites group discussion, problem solving, research, writing, skill building, and authentic applications, and includes an interactive Jeopardy-like game that will conclude the study with lasting memories.

Research Links for
Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt

The Author Talks about Okay for Now --video

Natural History Art Gallery
Garden of Praise Art Studio
Audubon's The Arctic Tern (picture and description)
The Red-Throated Diver (picture and description)
The Large-Billed Puffin (picture and description)
The Forked-Tailed Petrels
Audubon's description of The Stormy Petrels
Descripton of the Forked-Tailed Petrels
The Great Esquimaux Curlew
Copyright Information

The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War Timeline
Battlefield: Vietnam (PBS)

Apollo 11 Wikipedia
Apollo 11 Home Page
NASA Apollo 11
Apollo 11 Image Gallery

More Middle School Literature

You can purchase the unit PLUS a Jeopardy-type game for Okay for Now for immediate download in PDF and PowerPoint formats for only $16.95! Click Here to Purchase and Download


A Kids Wings unit and interactive Jeopardy-type game for Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt is perfect for lesson planning and handouts or projection on your SmartBoard! It is now available for instant download!

The Activity Guide Contains:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards;
Map Study;
Readers’ Theater Introduction;
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools: Dialectical Journals;
Vocabulary by Chapters with Tic Tac Toe Games and Vocabulary Posters;
Making Connections: Before Reading Quick Writes and Predict/Read/Confirm Chapter Questions;
Character Studies;
Crossword Puzzle;
Become a Character;
Table for comparisons of birds in Audubon's Birds of America;
Activities for Visualizing the Chapters through Drawing;
Multiple Choice Comprehension pages;
The Research Song;
Research Projects on The Moon Landing, Vietnam War, Audubon, and more;
Teacher Report Card;
Map Study--Vietnam;
Revisiting the Story Puzzle;
Comparing Okay for Now and The Wednesday Wars;
Writing Prompts;
Answer Keys;
Plus, an interactive Jeopardy-type game!


Background Music: In the story, Doug trades flutist Mr. Russell Aaron Copland's Autobiography, Manuscript Edition for his Audubon painting of The Large-Billed Puffins. The background music is Copland's "Sunday Traffic." We are grateful to Classical Music Midi for graciously sharing this piece with us.


More Award-Winning Books for 2012-2013

y Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt NOW!
or purchase the
Reading Out of the Box

Special Offer!
Okay for Now is included in the Kids Wings Reading Out of the Box collection of literature guides for award-winning novels and intermediate-level picture books. This collection comes in a spiral-bound book with CD and site license for one school. It contains 848 pages of activities in 25 titles PLUS a "Jeopardy-type" game for each novel! You can purchase a literature guide individually for around $12.95, but if you order Reading Out of the Box, you can get 25 literature guides for only $35, or less than $1.40 each! This is probably the best bargain in the USA, while quantities last!


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Disclaimer: The links here have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness; however, contents of links on the World Wide Web change continuously. It is advisable that teachers and parents review all links before allowing student use. Please contact us immediately if you find any inappropriate links.

Disclaimer: Texas Bluebonnet AwardSM is a service mark of the Texas Library Association, which is in no way affiliated with Kids' Wings or Suzy Red. Use of the Texas Bluebonnet Award mark in these materials does not imply any endorsement of any kind on behalf of the Texas Library Association. The Texas Bluebonnet Book Master ListSM was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee of the Texas Library Association


© 2012, Suzy Red, Lockhart, Texas
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