Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt Clarion/HMH Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick Scholastic Judged by Jeff Kinney
Oh, the delicious irony. A guy who draws stick-figure cartoons gets to judge which book is better on its literary merits… the one written by the Caldecott-winning author or the one written by the two-time Newbery Honor winner. Perhaps the meek shall inherit the earth after all.
First, I must confess that when I received my copies of Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick, and Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt, I had to re-acquaint myself with the notion of a physical book. I consume plenty of books… I just don’t read any. Because I do my cartoon drawings at night during what would otherwise be prime reading time, if I want to enjoy a book, I have to put on a pair of headphones and multitask. Every novel I’ve purchased over the past five years has been an audiobook, so all of my “reading” comes courtesy of my ears, not my eyes.
So it really was exciting to unwrap these two great paper tomes, throw on a pair of reading glasses, sit down in a comfortable chair, and dig in.
I started with Okay for Now (and at the time, I didn’t realize it was available as an audiobook, having foolishly searched for “O.K. for Now” on iTunes) because it looked less intimidating than Selznick’s massive novel. Cracking Schmidt’s book and reading the first page, I felt disoriented… without having someone reading to me, …