Abuela, Don't Forget Me
by Rex Ogle
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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2022
W. W. Norton & Company, Norton Young Readers
Rex Ogle’s companion to Free Lunch and Punching Bag weaves humor, heartbreak, and hope into life-affirming free verse that honors his grandmother’s legacy.
In his award-winning memoir Free Lunch, Rex Ogle’s abuela features as a source of love and support. In this companion-in-verse, Rex captures and celebrates the powerful presence a woman he could always count on—to give him warm hugs and ear kisses, to teach him precious words in Spanish, to bring him to the library where he could take out as many books as he wanted, and to offer safety when darkness closed in. 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.
About the Author: Rex Ogle was born and raised mostly in Texas. He received the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award for his memoir Free Lunch. His second book, Punching Bag, was a New York Public Library Best Book of 2021.
Praise for Free Lunch:
"A mighty portrait of poverty amid cruelty and optimism."-Kirkus, starred
"Ogle's emotional honesty pays off in the form of complex characterization and a bold, compassionate thesis."-PW, starred
"Heart-wrenching, timely, and beautifully written, this is a powerful and urgent work."-SLJ, starred
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
A beautiful tribute to the one person in his life that accepted him for who he was and would become. The only way Rex can escape the abuse of his mother, Steph father and father is by staying with his Abuela. As the years go by, she may be losing a bit of herself, however she still knows how important and how much she loves her grandson. This novel in verse tells the story of one woman who gives so much of her heart, without ever expecting anything in retutn. This was an amazing follow up to Rex’s two previous books, Punching Bag and Free Lunch.
Rex Ogle is one of my favorite authors and he is just as beloved by my students. Ogle, author of Free Lunch and Punching Bag, is back with a third memoir, this time in verse. Abuela, Don’t Forget Me is his love letter to his grandmother, the one person in his childhood that he could alway depend on and who was always there for him. Rex’s childhood was tough; his mother and stepfather were violent and abusive, there was never enough money or food, and he didn’t have much of a relationship with his father. But he did have his grandmother, who was always there for Rex, helping, supporting, and encouraging him.
I have loved all three of Ogle’s memoirs and I cannot even begin to tell you how much my students adore his work. I have had some of the best conversations with students about Free Lunch and Punching Bag. Ogle manages to make his dysfunctional family relatable while also giving readers hope that things will be okay in the future. I loved Abuela, Don’t Forget Me just as much as his first two memoirs and cannot wait to share this title with my students!
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