Title: FORGET ME NOT
Author: Ellie Terry
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
A girl with Tourette syndrome starts a new school and tries to hide her quirks in this debut middle-grade novel in verse.
Calliope June has Tourette syndrome. Sometimes she can’t control the noises that come out of her mouth, or even her body language. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But soon the kids in her class realize she’s different. Only her neighbor, who is also the class president, sees her as she truly is—a quirky kid, and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?
As Callie navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that she might be moving again—just as she’s starting to make friends and finally accept her differences. This story of being true to yourself will speak to a wide audience.
This book was truly, truly beautiful.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since PitchWars last year and had it on my TBR list. I finally got around to it and am so happy I did – and sad it took me so long.
Ellie Terry is a talented storyteller, filling her pages with stunning verse, realistic characters, science and heart.
Terry will say in her acknowledgments that Tourette’s Syndrome is very misunderstood and she was hoping this book would help with those misconceptions. I think it did. It wasn’t something I thought about a lot, but things I do remember are from movies where people pretend to have TS and scream and yell at each other.
I knew a boy a couple of years older than me in school though who had TS. He would bang his desk every once in a while, snort a lot, twitch his face … and the kids stared. And they weren’t nice. It was hard to watch and made this book sort of a hard read. I was friends with his little brothers and the way they stood up for him and his loving family environment more than made up for it.
Callie June will forever hold a special place in my heart. She was wonderful in her ticcs and her quirkiness. In her trying to be brave and discovering how to exist in a world where she was always the new student. In the way Terry used verse to explain how she saw the world and how every word felt like something sweet I wanted so savor. I re-read so many of the pages so many times because it felt so perfectly written. Sigh.
And Jinsong was an excellent compliment to her character. He was everything Calli needed but imperfect in her choices in a way a middle school kid would be. He made me cheer for him and broke my heart, but I love him too. The fact that Terry wrote his parts in prose was a brilliant way to set his character apart from Calli, but Terry’s prose is purposeful and beautiful as well.
Another side effect – I wanted to know more about the moon and I loved how facts and poems about astronomy and the moon were interwoven throughout the story.
This book only took a couple hours of my Sunday but it is definitely one I will think on in the days to come and re-read as well. I highly recommend to readers of all ages if you love unique characters, gorgeous writing, and unexpected but happy endings.