BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Remember Dippy by Shirley Reva Vernick
Published Date: May 2013
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
The Story: Johnny’s plans fly out the window when he finds out his single mother is leaving town for the summer. She has a breakthough job in upstate New York. He can live with his Aunt Collette but only on the condition that he “help out with” his autistic older cousin, Remember. Yup, you heard it right: Remember Dippy. That’s his cousin’s name—and Remember is a gawky awkward kid with some pretty strange habits, like repeating back almost everything Johnny says and spending hours glued to the weather channel. Johnny’s premonitions of disaster appear at first to come to cringeworthy fruition, but when the two boys save a bully from drowning, salvage the pizzeria guy’s romance, and share girl troubles, Johnny ends up having the summer of his life.
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MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Johnny is none too happy when he learns his mom is going away for business and he will be stuck watching his autistic cousin all summer. The boy, unfortunately named Remember Dippy, speaks just what is on his mind and has a mutual love of the weather channel and his pet ferrets. Johnny is at first embarrassed to go anywhere with Remember, but as the summer progresses he finds that his cousin isn’t quite what he thought.
I haven’t really read any books about autistic children or known any in my life, so I’m not sure if this was an accurate representation of what an autistic person could be like. Remember was very smart when it came to certain things, but just seemed to lack the self preservation that most of us have to keep ourselves out of danger. It doesn’t take much to make him happy, but on the other hand it doesn’t take much to set him off on the road to a meltdown.
Johnny didn’t really have much personality that shined through, but in a way this book was not really about him. What started out as a lame summer became much more interesting as Johnny got to know Remember, and learned what he could do. These are teenage boys so there weren’t really any heart-touching scenes, but you could see that their relationship was going to be different from now on.
This was a sweet read and I’d recommend it for anyone who wants something lighthearted to brighten their day.
Shirley Reva Vernick’s debut novel The Blood Lie was named on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list from the American Library Association. It also received the Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon a World Children’s Award and Sydney Taylor Honor Book Award. Shirley lives with her husband, two daughters, and two frisky dogs in western Massachusetts. In addition to running a popular storytelling website—storybee.org—Shirley has written for Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, national newspapers, and the publications of Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Boston universities.