A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Forget Me Not by debut author Ellie Terry is a coming-of-age novel narrated in both verse and prose. It tells the story of Calliope June, an intelligent, strong-willed girl with Tourette syndrome, who has to move again with her mom. She starts seventh grade in a new town and the other kids quickly notice that she makes faces or noises when she doesn't want to -- the symptoms of her neurological disorder. A popular Asian-American boy struggles to stand up for Callie as another girl picks on her. There's some teasing, but ultimately this is a beautiful character-driven story about self-acceptance, connection, and friendship.
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What's the story?
In FORGET ME NOT, astronomy-loving Calliope June starts her first day at a new school in St. George, Utah, and tries hard to hide her Tourette syndrome from the other seventh graders. But she can't help it if she makes noises or sounds when she doesn't mean to. When Jinsong, her new neighbor and the popular student body president, tries to stand up for Callie, he feels pulled by the other kids to keep his distance. As Callie struggles to fit in, she also deals with her unpredictable mother, who's itching to move again.
Is it any good?
Author Ellie Terry, who has Tourette syndrome herself, portrays this neurological disorder in a compelling way that pulls you into her characters' lives and makes you feel for them. Callie tells her story in verse, while passages in Jinsong's voice are in prose. Readers will fall in love with Callie, who's funny, real, and full of spirit. When Jinsong tells his story, readers feel his struggle to be a good friend. Parents will love the opportunities Forget Me Not presents for positive, deep conversations about acceptance, empathy, and being true to yourself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Forget Me Not's portrayal of Tourette syndrome. What did you know about Tourette syndrome before you read this story? What did you learn about it from reading this book?
What would you do if you saw someone being bullied? How might you be an ally to someone who's different?
Have you ever wanted to be friends with someone new, but you felt pressure from other kids not to make a new friend? How did the situation turn out?
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