Bound To Stay Bound

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 Abuela, don't forget me
 Author: Ogle, Rex

 Publisher:  Norton Young Readers (2022)

 Dewey: 306.874
 Classification: Biography
 Physical Description: 198 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 686625 ISBN: 9781324019954
 Ages: 13-18 Grades: 8-12

 Ogle, Rex -- Childhood and youth
 Poor people -- Biography
 Grandparent-grandchild relationship
 American authors -- Biography

Price: $23.26

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.

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 08/01/2022 This emotive memoir in verse serves as a companion to Ogle’s award-winning Free Lunch (2019), in which his abuela, despite being a minor character, provided major compassion, love, and encouragement to him during his most trying times. These poignant and powerful poems, dedicated to her, conjure up both nostalgia and melancholy. As Ogle’s abuela’s memories are affected by her dementia, this collection serves as a way to document and preserve the gratitude and affection the author has for a parental figure who meant so much to him. Through recollections of the smells of her kitchen and the safe haven of her home and vignettes that bring up specific moments from childhood or adolescence, Ogle paints a picture of what it was like to live, learn, and grow with his beloved grandmother, reminding readers that memories will always be kept alive in our hearts. The humor, reflection, and heart present in these pages remind readers to cherish their bonds with their loved ones and that small moments can last a lifetime. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/01/2022 Gr 9 Up—Ogle's free verse memoir is a series of vignettes, chronologically capturing the soft and dark moments of his childhood through post-college as the shared memories with his maternal grandmother (abuela) dim because of her dementia. Ogle's readers will recognize events from his earlier works Free Lunch and Punching Bag, but this is a solid standalone reflecting on parental abuse, poverty, bullying, bigotry, coming out, trauma, and the vital impact one person can have on a life. Ogle's use of repetition, symbolism, and extended metaphor cuts sharply. The book is broken into seven sections; in the sections "To And From" and "There And Back Again," a young and then post-college Ogle reaches out to his abuela with collect calls. As a child, it's to let her know where his mom has moved them, always living with others and in poverty. When he's older, it's after living on the streets and contemplating suicide. His father kicks him out because he's gay, and he doesn't know if even his abuela will be okay with him. She accepts the calls without question, though, and "collects" him each time with unconditional love. Even if readers don't see the extended metaphors—for instance, they won't know what a collect call is—there is raw honesty in this work that is compelling. The magnitude of intergenerational relationships, deep connections, and acceptance shine in Ogle's foreword and poems, which are clearly love letters to his abuela, captured like fireflies in a jar. VERDICT A must-purchase for all YA nonfiction collections, Ogle's work speaks directly to what so many young people experience and offers them hope.—Rachel Zuffa - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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