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Remember Dippy

School Library Journal

School is out for summer and Johnny can’t wait to enjoy pizza lunches, trips to the lake, and video-game marathons with his friends. Then his mother drops the news: she’ll be spending the summer in New York for work and Johnny will be staying with his aunt, taking care of his older, autistic cousin. Remember is different from other teenagers–he doesn’t like to be touched, he loves to watch the Weather Channel, he often doesn’t know what’s socially appropriate. While Remember’s mom is at work at the local 7-11, it falls to Johnny to keep an eye on him (and his two ferrets, Jumbalaya and Linguini). Several adventures ensue, and what starts out as a burden ends up being an opportunity for Johnny to learn how to beat previously unbeatable game levels (turns out that Remember is a video-game genius), and how to look for the good in others. Vernick populates Johnny and Remember’s town with quirky versions of classic characters, from bullies to curmudgeons with hearts of gold. The author captures an important part of growing up–that time when young people first start to see beyond their own perspectives and really understand the people around them.
- Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR, 

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