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He Forgot to Say Goodbye Hardcover – June 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416949631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416949633
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"He Forgot to Say Goodbye is a beautiful, powerfully moving story with three absolutely unforgettable teen characters. Sáenz has done a remarkable job of creating two memorably idiosyncratic voices that just - well - detroyed me! Effen brilliant!" - Michael Cart, former president of YALSA and ALAN

"Sáenz's skill with language is such that it makes me as a reader slow down to savor the sentences...Many readers will see themselves in these two young men who manage to confront the demons in their lives and survive." - Teri Lesesne, professor, Sam Houston State University

"He Forgot to Say Goodbye is a story about what it is to become a man...I have, in fact, now spent a lot of quality time with Ramiro and Jake and can say that this one is right up there with my all-time favorite YAs." - Richie Partington, Richie's Picks

About the Author

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

More About the Author

Benjamin Alire Sáenz was born in 1954 in his grandmother's house in Old Picacho, a small farming village in the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1954. He was the fourth of seven children and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla Park. Later, when the family lost the farm, his father went back to his former occupation--being a cement finisher. His mother worked as a cleaning woman and a factory worker. During his youth, he worked at various jobs--painting apartments, roofing houses, picking onions, and working for a janitorial service. He graduated from high school in 1972, and went on to college and became something of a world traveler. He studied philosophy and theology in Europe for four years and spent a summer in Tanzania. He eventually became a writer and professor and moved back to the border--the only place where he feels he truly belongs. He is an associate professor in the MFA creative writing program at the University of Texas at El Paso, the only bilingual creative writing program in the country. Ben Saenz considers himself a fronterizo, a person of the border. He is also a visual artist and has been involved as a political and cultural activist throughout his life. Benjamin Sáenz­ is a novelist, poet, essayist and writer of children's books. His young adult novel Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood was selected as one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults in 2005, and his prize-winning bilingual picture books for children--A Gift from Papá Diego and Grandma Fina and Her Wonderful Umbrellas--have been best-selling titles. A Perfect Season for Dreaming is Ben's newest bilingual children's book which has received two starred reviews, one from Publishers Weekly and one from Kirkus Reviews. He has received the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Lannan Fellowship and an American Book Award. His first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, won an American Book Award in 1992. That same year, he published his first collection of short stories, Flowers for the Broken. In 1995, he published his first novel, Carry Me Like Water (Hyperion), and that same year, he published his second book of poems, Dark and Perfect Angels. Both books were awarded a Southwest Book Award by the Border Area Librarians Association. In 1997, HarperCollins published his second novel, The House of Forgetting. Ben is a prolific writer whose more recent titles include In Perfect Light (Rayo/Harper Collins), Names on a Map (Rayo/Harper Collins), He Forgot to Say Goodbye (Simon and Schuster), and two books of poetry Elegies in Blue (Cinco Puntos Press), and Dreaming the End of War (Copper Canyon Press).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I will definitely use this book for my future students.
Marie Romo
The characters are so real you feel they could be friends if they existed in real time.
C. L. Shain
Made me think about my own life and how much I have to be grateful for.
Eliza Abelov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Shain on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The characters are so real you feel they could be friends if they existed in real time. Mexican Americans are given the respect they deserve.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Notes from my reading, Day One:

"I didn't stop there. Of course I didn't. I just felt I had to add that I probably had a better idea of the serious philosophy of anarchy than a man like him whose addiction to order seriously undermined his feeble attempts at engaging his imagination.
"He returned my remark by reminding me that he remained unimpressed with my shallow intellectual demeanor and that nothing could disguise my obstinate, disrespectful, and undisciplined attitude. He said being a smart aleck didn't actually make me smart. And then he said it again: 'Despite your extensive, if aggressive vocabulary, you're nothing but an angry, disrespectful young man who needs a little discipline.' You see, the thing with adults is that respect is just a word they use to guilt us nonadults into doing what they want us to do. But did Mr. Alexis leave it at that? Of course not. He reminded me and Tom and John that it was a privilege to attend a pre-med magnet school and if we weren't very careful, well, we just might be sent back to a normal school. That's how he put it. A normal school. That guy, he destroys me. Where in the hell was he going to find a normal school? How can schools be normal when they're run by adults like him."

To tell you the truth, reading HE FORGOT TO SAY GOODBYE has so far been really slow going for me. But that is only because Ben Saenz is a poet, and while there is theoretically not a line of verse in the whole book, reading it is sure causing me to treat it as if it were an exceptional volume of YA poetry. This is one of those books that I need to read aloud and then read aloud again so that I can savor the words and expressions -- English and Spanish -- of entire amazing passages.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is heartwarming and so heartbreaking at the same time. I cried with the boys and remembered those "carefree" times. It was as if I was young again and enduring high school days. I also relived the laughter. I'm sure young people will love it too.
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By Eliza Abelov on April 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
loved the sense of humor of Jake, and the chance see a friendship form over the span of a week or so.
Heartbreaking but thought-provoking read that brings up some key political issues. Made me think about my own life and how much I have to be grateful for.
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By amf0001 VINE VOICE on February 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't like a lot of YA themed books, not being a YA myself, but this was so beautifully written and charming and painful. Following the theme of lost parents, Jake and Ram alternate between telling their stores.

But the writing is terrific - here is Jake describing his mother:
Sometimes I think my mom would be happier if she got a job. But she'll never do that. Look, she doesn't need the money. And she doesn't know how to do anything except worry about me. I'm her job. Shit. Have you ever been anyone's job? Have you? It's not a cool place for your mind to inhabit.

And here is Ram:
My name's Ramiro. They call me Ram. I'm named after my father. I hate being named for a father who disappeared one night and never came back. It's like being named after a ghost.

Well worth reading, I'm off to look for more by Saenz.
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