Readers met Doug Swieteck in the Newbery Honor–winning The Wednesday Wars. In Okay for Now, Doug's family has moved to "stupid Marysville," where his father is just as brutal but maybe, just maybe Doug can become his better self. Author Gary Schmidt here talks to Vicky Smith, Kirkus Children's & Teen Editor, about Doug, John James Audubon and putting characters you love into terrible situations.

Find more novels with great boy characters among our 2011 Best Books for Children.