Cover Image: Abuela, Don't Forget Me

Abuela, Don't Forget Me

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Member Reviews

I'd never read anything else by Rex Ogle (and now I will have to go and buy every single thing he's ever written!). I knew nothing about him or the story when I went in and this book broke me and then built me right back up again.

The verse is raw and unflinching in how it deals with a lot of very difficult topics but it is also full of love, joy and celebration on an incredible woman. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This poetry book tells a moving family tale about overcoming trauma and adversity. It talks about how helping others helps us in turn and shines brighter when it's done with a grandmother's love and support. 

It has a different impact than his other two works since it is written from the viewpoint of a grateful grandson who has no other way to express his gratitude than to pen a book about the only person who has provided stability in his chaotic existence.
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This was a really heart-warming book about the Rex's grandmother. I really loved the appreciation he had for all his grandmother taught him. It's a short book, but it packs an emotional punch.
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Although a short read, this novel in verse packs a punch. It was sad to read about Rex's relationship with his mother and his mother's relationship with her own mom (Rex's abuela). It was lovely to read about Rex's relationship with his abuela, who was always there for him. It brought back memories of my abuelitas. Two thumbs up.
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A gripping, at times devastating, but overwhelmingly inspiring memoir, written in verse, that everyone should read about the impact one person - Rex’s abuela - can have on someone, when their intentions are genuine and from the heart, no matter how difficult and unfortunate their circumstances may be.
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Over the thousands of books I read, I can count on one hand the times I've actively cried over a book. This is one of them. The final page pulled up everything from the last two books he's written about his lived experiences and then he writes what amounts to a love letter to his grandmother, who is slowly starting to forget him but was stoically there for him throughout every trauma of his existence, for better and worse, in good times and bad, patiently waiting out her completely unstable daughter to provide Rex (and then also Ford when he came along) with access to activities, experiences, and things that he needed to be hopeful he could come through it. 

This verse novel is an eloquent family story about overcoming and working through trauma and hardship. It's about how helping others in turn helps us and shines brighter when it's the love and support of a grandmother. It hits differently that his other two books because it takes a different perspective-- one of a doting grandson who can't say thank you enough other than to write a book for and about the one person who kept stability in his tumultuous life. 

The book is segmented but revisits his life chronologically but inserts his grandmother more specifically in the experiences where she might not have been fully-realized in his first two. 

Thank you Rex Ogle for your story, your vulnerability, your way with words.
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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

A heart wrenching and necessary love letter. It is a one sitting read. Full of insights and love for the author's abuela (grandmother). I'm certain that many will take the idea and also pen letters of love to their loved ones that are suffering from Alzheimer's or those who are no longer on Earth. Beautiful and heart wrenching.
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A beautiful memoir, written in verse, detailing the love that the author has for his grandmother and the integral role she plays in his life.

It provides so much cultural representation, with consideration of the Hispanic and LGBTQ communities. There is a moral to this story, and could be a really interesting tool to develop empathy in young people.
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Abuela, Don’t Forget Me is a novel written in verse and a great sequel to Rex Ogle’s first two memoirs, Free Lunch and Punching Bag. While Free Lunch is a book that is appropriate for a middle school audience, this book feels a bit more mature, like Punching Bag. It explores similar themes but is written in a different format, This book focuses on the author’s relationship with his grandmother who always supported him and loved him unconditionally.

In the beginning of the book, Ogle describes the impact his grandmother had on him as he was growing up, her current struggle with dementia, and the role that his grandmother’s illness has played in his own life. The majority of the book focuses on Ogle’s childhood and teenage years, but at the very end, we learn a little more about the experiences he had after graduating from high school. In some ways, I felt like the book ended a bit abruptly. I wish that we could have learned more about the period in Ogle’s life between graduating from high school and starting college and how his grandmother fit into that story.

There are many instances where the memories Ogle wrote about in his first two memoirs make a re-appearance in this novel. In some ways, it was interesting to see the overlap because it gave me a deeper understanding of these experiences and the impact they had on the author. But it also would have been nice to have this book focus on a different time period in Ogle’s life and perhaps delve deeper into his coming to terms with his sexuality. I can anticipate that many of my LGBTQ students will read the end of this book and be left wanting more.

I will definitely add this book to my classroom library. I teared up more than once while reading it. Rex Ogle’s grandmother exhibited the kind of selfless love that sticks with you, and I think my students will find comfort in reading this collection of memories about her love and kindness. My students are huge fans of Rex Ogle’s books, and I know that they will love this one too!
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Rex Ogle wrote a masterpiece. I am relatively speechless. This book made me feel at home and made me miss my own abuela and all of her complexities. This book is home. I found parts of myself in these pages that I had long forgotten. What a gift. 

Thank you Rex. Your abuela would be proud.
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Very heart felt. The style is not my preferred so I am not the best person to review this book. I did not particularly enjoy it but it is beautifully written . There is a lot of love and admiration in each verse and it’s obvious from more than just the title that the author values their relationship with their grandmother.
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Rex Ogle’s Abuela, Don’t Forget Me is a beautiful testament to youth, the hardships of growing up different, and a boy’s love for his grandmother. In his verse novel, we follow Ogle’s childhood to his adolescence that is wrapped around the most important figure of his life, his abuela. 

I believe this novel provides not only the cultural representation of not only the Hispanic community, but the LGQBT community as well. In the YA genre we see diversity in culture and in our characters grow more and more, and Ogle’s novel is part of this ever wonderful growing movement. He really shows how hard it is to grow up in an America that can look at you as other, and how much better it is to stand out rather than hide in blending in. Ogle’s free verse novel shows the strength in that, and the beauty of it, through his love of his grandmother, and the life he shares with her. 

I have to give this book 5 stars, it deserves no less.
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I absolutely loved this book. I didn't expect the format to come out the way it did but I really enjoyed it. The short stories, the glimpses really into the narrators life were really special and personal to see. Almost like a diary. I appreciated all the moments with the grandmother and the other family members. And the many things this book touches on is also really special. Highly recommend.
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Here we follow Rex again as he shows us his life with and around his Abuela growing up. Abuala, the one source of unconditional love, help, and support for Rex from an early age. The person who is  home for him and he knows he can go to for anything. We see more of his relationship with his mom and how Abuela's actions center around reacting to his mother's actions toward him and her. We see a woman determined to find ways to help her grandson who she knows her daughter is not doing her best for. We see Rex flourish under his Abuela's wings and grow to be the man he is, no thanks to his mother. A heart wrenching and truly necessary read for anyone.
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My 50 Word Review of Abuela, Don't Forget Me by Rex Ogle 

Devasting yet heart-warming and uplifting, this coming-of-age verse novel is a celebration of the life of a remarkable woman. Abuela bestows the power of self-belief and unconditional love on a young man whose life is scarred by violence and neglect. A powerful read and a kind hug for difficult days.
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Rex Ogle is one of my favorite authors and he is just as beloved by my students. Ogle, author of Free Lunch and Punching Bag, is back with a third memoir, this time in verse. Abuela, Don’t Forget Me is his love letter to his grandmother, the one person in his childhood that he could alway depend on and who was always there for him. Rex’s childhood was tough; his mother and stepfather were violent and abusive, there was never enough money or food, and he didn’t have much of a relationship with his father. But he did have his grandmother, who was always there for Rex, helping, supporting, and encouraging him. 

I have loved all three of Ogle’s memoirs and I cannot even begin to tell you how much my students adore his work. I have had some of the best conversations with students about Free Lunch and Punching Bag. Ogle manages to make his dysfunctional family relatable while also giving readers hope that things will be okay in the future. I loved Abuela, Don’t Forget Me just as much as his first two memoirs and cannot wait to share this title with my students!
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Post will publish on Aug 1, 2022
My Thoughts:

Rex Ogle follows his award winning free-verse #OwnVoices memoirs Free Lunch and Punching Bag with his newest offering, Abuela, Don't Forget Me. The author continues to stay in touch with his grandmother and as her memory starts to get tangled and confused in her mind, her grandson keeps her story alive through his prose.

Like the other books, this is heart-wrenching and hard to read in its violence and abuse. However, in Abuela, Ogle brings forward this steady, strong woman who was his source of love and support. He brings forward through the poems all the little things (like the game of hiding in the hamper until she finds him) as well as the big things like accepting all of his collect calls, and wiring him money so he can always come home to her red-brick house in Abilene Texas. 

This book is definitely hard to read because of the cycle of abuse and poverty. I want to say it comes from his mother, but his mother is also reacting as a victim so it is hard to only blame her, but she is to be pitied, and Ogle shows this pity through his abuela and how she does not react even when her grandson lashes out at his own abuela out of shame and pity for his own different-ness. 

This does not hold back any punches and feels a little self indulgent, but that self-indulgence just highlights the strength of love his grandmother has for her family, and for the author. Our memories for our elders need to show the sacrifices and the ugliness in order to show the strength and resolve. This book does that for her. 

From the Publisher:
Rex Ogle’s companion to Free Lunch and Punching Bag weaves humor, heartbreak, and hope into life-affirming free verse that honors his grandmother’s legacy.

In his award-winning memoir Free Lunch, Rex Ogle’s abuela features as a source of love and support. In this companion-in-verse, Rex captures and celebrates the powerful presence a woman he could always count on—to give him warm hugs and ear kisses, to teach him precious words in Spanish, to bring him to the library where he could take out as many books as he wanted, and to offer safety when darkness closed in. Throughout a coming of age marked by violence and dysfunction, Abuela’s red-brick house in Abilene, Texas, offered Rex the possibility of home, and Abuela herself the possibility for a better life.

Abuela, Don’t Forget Me is a lyrical portrait of the transformative and towering woman who believed in Rex even when he didn’t yet know how to believe in himself.

Author: Rex Ogle

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Publication date: September 6, 2022
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A beautiful tribute to the one person in his life that accepted him for who he was and would become. The only way Rex can escape the abuse of his mother, Steph father and father is by staying with his Abuela. As the years go by, she may be losing a bit of herself, however she still knows how important and how much she loves her grandson. This novel in verse tells the story of one woman who gives so much of her heart, without ever expecting anything in retutn. This was an amazing follow up to Rex’s two previous books, Punching Bag and Free Lunch.
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In his most recent memoir (publication date: September 6, 2022) Abuela, Don't Forget Me, Ogle, as an adult, grieves over his grandmother's memory loss and recounts how much his grandmother kept him going when his mother was unable to. This is a love letter about her impact on his life and it will move you to tears.

God bless his Abuela who poured her love out on him so he had something to hold on to when life was filled with physical and emotional abuse. God bless her for describing him as a shining example of someone with great potential rather than someone who was already defined.

I found it hard to read some parts of the book, but I've learned that some of my opinions are not matched by my students. I think, as hard as this book was to read, that it needs to be read by students who see that survival is possible. And that while our past shapes us, it doesn't have to be our future.

Written in verse, these books will be quickly devoured by students. I would add a note that this is a book to preread if you don't already do that. You know your own students and children and their level of maturity. This heart-achingly real book needs to be read at the right time and with the right level of understanding. For some students, that might be a few years from now.
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