Barnes & Noble Selects Children's Novel for the Barnes & Noble Recommends Program "Main Selection": Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
First Time That a Children's Novel Has Been Chosen Since the Program Launched Over Four Years Ago
New York, NY - April 5, 2011 - Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, today announced that Gary D. Schmidt's new novel, Okay for Now (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is the latest "Main Selection" and the first-ever children's novel chosen for the Barnes & Noble Recommends program since it was launched more than four years ago. The book is on sale now and can be purchased at any Barnes & Noble store, online at Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com/recommends), or instantly downloaded on the NOOK(TM) family of eBook Readers (www.nook.com).
Out of the thousands of books considered for Recommends, Okay for Now was chosen because it is a stirring novel with an artistic touch that transcends age. The Barnes & Noble Recommends program celebrates books that are "unputdownable" and sure to be unforgettable.
"This is a powerful story that will stay with the reader. It transcends time in the same way as The Outsiders and The Giver," said Mary Amicucci, vice president of children's books at Barnes & Noble. "It's about people learning how to care for each other by seeing beyond what's on the surface. Through incredible characters and a compelling story, everyone can relate to and connect with Okay for Now."
Doug Swieteck tells the reader, "Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap. I'm not lying. He gave it to me. To me, Doug Swieteck. To me." And so begins Okay for Now. When Doug's older brother steals his prized possession - a baseball cap signed by Doug's favorite baseball player, Yankees first baseman Joe Pepitone - Doug is convinced things can't get worse. But they do. Instead of tickets to a Yankees game, Doug's father brings home a black eye, a pink slip, and the news that the Swietecks are leaving Long Island and moving to a small town in upstate New York. Though it's 1968 and NASA's getting closer to putting a man on the moon, Doug is anxious about his family's move to a 'dump' of a house in the boondocks, and facing eighth grade at a new school with no friends. Without Joe Pepitone, he's convinced the odds are stacked against him - until he meets a girl on a bike named Lil, and a flock of colorful birds from the plates in John James Audubon's Birds of America.
Schmidt masterfully weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery, art and inventiveness, truth and lies, in a story filled with distinctive characters and a narrative told through Audubon's bird drawings.
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