Abuela, Don’t Forget Me

Recorded Books. Sept. 2022. 330p. $10.99. ISBN 9781705078846.
Gr 9 Up–Ogle and de Ocampo are three for three in hauntingly enlivening Ogle’s memoirs-in-verse trilogy: Free Lunch, Punching Bag, and now, Abuela. She is, as Ogle explains in his foreword, “the most important person in [his] life.” Living with dementia, “she is forgetting me.” Writing is his response: “My memories of a wonderful woman are written in words and verses and fragments in this book, unable to be unwritten.” Once again, de Ocampo becomes Ogle’s cipher, his voice slightly scratchy, achingly vulnerable as he recalls Abuela’s house, her kindness, her never-ending support that saved Ogle from his mother’s abuse, expulsion by his father for being gay, his own doubts, and self-harm. Together, author and narrator present an exceptional homage to the healing power of unconditional love—and the power of words—that nurtured a young boy into an accomplished writer.
VERDICT Libraries should ensure ready access to Ogle’s trilogy in all formats.

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