Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Ellie Terry
Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction/Books in Verse
Number of Pages: 336
Calliope June is a pre-teen girl with severe Tourette’s Syndrome, who’s flaky mother is always moving from place to place when her latest relationship fails. Calliope’s mom tells her not to let anybody know she has Tourette’s Syndrome, which backfires because everyone can tell there’s something different about her but they don’t have any context as to why.
Calliope befriends a boy named Jinsong but he’s embarrassed to be seen with her because all of his ‘friends’ think she’s a freak a bully her. The story focuses on Calliope becoming more comfortable with herself and Jinsong learning to be a better friend.
I really liked Calliope’s character and even though I don’t have Tourette’s Syndrome, I do have OCD like her and the portrayal rang true to me. The book did a great job of portraying what Calliope has to go through on a day-to-day basis not only with her compulsions and her tics, but also with people who don’t understand her behavior.
I couldn’t stand her mother and how she made things so much harder for her. I had trouble warming up to Jinsong, especially since he was such a tool for the majority of the book and was only Calliope’s friend in secret because he was embarrassed by her. He really didn’t deserve her as a friend and even though he finally balled up it was a bit too late for me to actually like him.
This is an #ownvoices book and the author’s understanding of disability really shines here. The characters are well-developed and the narrative feels authentic. I would recommend this book for readers of any age who are interested in stories that portray neurodiversity and the difficulties of growing up different.