Forget Me Not is the debut middle grade novel by author Ellie Terry. Of course this novel has a special place in Ellie’s heart, but it also has one in mine. This is the kind of book I longed for growing up. The main character has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations.
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is–an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public? As Calliope navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that they might be moving–again–just as she starts to make friends and finally accept her differences.(Amazon)
Forget Me Not is beautifully written story of fitting in and finding courage. It is a dual point of view story told in both verse (Calliope) and prose (Jinsong). This was my first time reading a story told in both formats and I loved it! The character’s voices were distinct and their personalities well developed.
In addition to Tourette’s isolating Calli from other kids, she’s moved ten times in her young life because her mom is searching for love. Calli longs to fit in, but instead of making friends, the kids laugh at her tics and tease her. My favorite example of her emotions is shown through her dream of being a red poppy in a field of white roses. She admires their beauty and sameness, but sees their viciousness. As she struggles to find her place in the new school, Jinsong, the student body president and her neighbor, struggles with keeping his place. As he gets to know Calli, he’s confused about the right path for him. As Jinsong describes: his chair is growing hotter, but his body is frozen stiff. He’s burning and freezing.
Callie and Jinsong grow, both as individuals and friends. They discover what is important in life and how they must stand up for themselves to get it.
Readers of any age will love this book of growth and acceptance. They will also have the ability to learn about a misunderstood disorder and realize how a little knowledge can result in a new friend.
Forget Me Not was released on March 14, 2017. It is now in stores.
HALLI GOMEZ teaches martial arts and writes for children and young adults because those voices flow through her brain. She enjoys family, outdoors, reading, and is addicted to superhero movies. You can find her on Twitter.