What point of view is Gary D. Schmidt's Okay for Now written in?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gary Schmidt's Okay for Now is narrated in what we call first-person-protagonist point of view. This point of view is told from the perspective of the main character who relays his/ her own story using first-person pronouns like I and me.

We can tell the story is written in first person protagonist because the protagonist Doug relays what happened to him as the story unfolds. To do so, he uses pronouns like I and me. Examples are seen all throughout the story, but one interesting example is the moment he starts to become friends with Lil at the end of the first chapter. After Lil challenges him to try to drink the coke she brings him in an uninterrupted series of gulps, she makes him laugh by commenting on his Adam's apple. Doug then relays the following events using first-person pronouns:

The fireworks exploded—and I mean exploded.
Everything that was fizzing and bubbling and sparkling went straight up my nose and Coke started to come out all over the library steps and it wasn't just coming out my mouth. I'm not lying (Chapter 2).

What's fascinating is that Doug, as a narrator, treats his reader as an audience by occasionally addressing his reader using the second-person pronoun you. He has multiple purposes in doing so, but one of those purposes is to invite the reader into the story by creating a dialogue between himself and the reader. He particularly creates a dialogue whenever he challenges the reader to be interested in or believe his story. Multiple examples can be seen throughout, but one example is seen when he relays the outcome of the fights he was bullied into during the month of October:

Twelve near-fights. Probable record: Eight wins. Four losses. You don't believe me? So what? So what? (Chapter 5)

As we can see, by occasionally using second-person pronouns, Doug becomes a very interactive narrator; however, since he is still relaying his story from the perspective of I and me, he is still a first-person narrator.