Gary D. Schmidt swept me away with the stories in The Wednesday Wars, published in 2007, and Okay for Now, published in 2013. Both books have strikingly similar elements and themes with endearing characters that I want to keep reading about! Taking place in the 1960's during the roaring Vietnam War, each book is told from the perspective of a different middle school boy with impossibly egocentric fathers, quiet mothers, and annoying older siblings. And both books showcase the companionship that adults can form with children, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.
|The Wednesday Wars was written in 2007.|
|Okay for Now was published in 2013.|
I absolutely admire the way Gary D. Schmidt has crafted both of these novels to be endearing, hopeful, and sweet, while still speaking to the hearts and passions of middle school boys. Featuring grand coincidences in each novel and siblings who are not given names until the end of book - when Holling and Doug realize that their siblings do have identities after all - Mr. Schmidt writes in a way that makes me want to read more. He embodies what it means to have voice as a writer, and I look forward to reading more of his books in the future.