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Remember Dippy Hardcover – July 23, 2013

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–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. Although the secondary characters are a bit thinly developed and the plot twists a bit predictable, 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, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

No, it’s not a rallying cry. Remember Dippy is the name of a 16-year-old autistic boy whose eccentricities are about to overwhelm 14-year-old Johnny. When Johnny’s mom goes away for the summer, Johnny has to live with quirky Aunt Collette and exhausting Remember, aka Mem, aka Mr. Literal, aka Mr. Tag-Along, aka the Dipp. With Mem’s penchant to repetition, obsession with the Weather Channel, and frequent “hissy fits,” Johnny can barely concentrate on his major goals: hanging with his buds and catching the attention of the beautiful Jo. As you might expect, the boys gradually come to accept each other, with Mem’s robotic talents helping Johnny win video games, fend off Dirk the Jerk, befriend a mean mutt, and more. There are few surprises in this gentle, jokey read, and the series of dramas that conclude the book seem to pop up out of nowhere. Mem himself remains a mystery, but it’s clear why Johnny comes to appreciate him: “Life would be a lot easier if people said what they mean, the way Mem does.” Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 10
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935955489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935955481
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vernick's novel The Blood Lie won the Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon A World book award and is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book. Her novel Remember Dippy won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. Her third novel, The Black Butterfly, will be released in May 2014.

Vernick graduated from Cornell University, where she was awarded the university's Fleischman Scholarship for Writing Achievement. Her work has appeared in national magazines, newspapers and university publications. She also edited a science journal that was distributed to all physicians in Russia, and created an award-winning program to help American doctors help their patients quit smoking.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Remember Dippy is a cute, middle grade/young adult coming-of-age novel about the lovable and smart-alecky Johnny whose mother plucks him from his home and plops him at his aunt and cousin's during summer vacation. This is the ultimate injustice to the modern teenager--especially since Johnny has suddenly assumed the role of Remember, his autistic cousin's, caretaker--but soon, his own self-discoveries in tandem with his time with Mem and the things that happen around him, make it clear that this is one summer that Johnny will never forget.

14-year-old Johnny is good-natured and likable. He's such an honest, smart, and self-conscious character who captures teen spirit--and angst--accurately. I loved him as a narrator! Remember, our other protagonist, isn't explored as deeply because we never gain his perspective, but I warmed up to him immediately. He's definitely not perfect, and his lack of awareness and social direction sometimes get Johnny in trouble, but he's affectionate, and he's pure; with all these edgy books about forbidden romances and gangs and communist regimes and love triangles flooding the YA scene these days, a book like Remember Dippy is refreshing and enlightening because it actually has a message--a moral that everyone should take to heart.

This is the summer when Johnny grows up, gets real, and figures himself out. This is the summer when Remember shows Johnny what true friendship is about, as he becomes as much a friend to Johnny as Johnny is to Mem; the entire wholesome, heartfelt journey will stick with readers of all ages.

Pros: Lovable and real narrator // Sentimental // Demonstrates value of friendship and family // Parent- and child-friendly // Lots of plot action--never gets boring

Cons: Nothing phenomenal...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By b-writer on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thirteen year old Johnny has an unwanted summer job, helping his aunt care for his autistic cousin, Remember Dippy (and that is his real name thanks to weird parent).

During the course of the summer, fifteen-year-old Remember or Mem as Johnny calls him, joins in with the other neighborhood kids for fun and adventure and the mystery that is girls. Johnny narrates the story, and through his eyes we see how life with his cousin Mem changes both boys.

Mem shows that being autistic is no barrier to being a real friend. He saves an old man's romance, a girl from being sent away, his cousin from a bully, and the bully from drowning. There is even the possibility of romance, for both boys.

This is a good book for anyone with an autistic family member. It would also be useful in classrooms to spark discussions on autism and what it means to be "normal." It's a true feel good book, and I hated to see it end. In a world where empathy is lacking and cruelty is growing, witnessed by the recent anonymous hate later telling a family they should euthanize their autistic son for the good of the neighborhood, more books like this that show the person inside the autistic brain are needed.

I read a copy supplied by the publisher as part of my investigation of books featuring protagonists on the autism spectrum done for YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association) at TheHub reader blog. You can catch the entire post and booklist at
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Format: Hardcover
Johnny is ready for a very boring summer in Vermont. He's about to enter high school and is preparing himself for a lot of gaming, sleeping, and eating. All of those plans come to a screeching halt when Johnny's mother informs him he has to go live with his cousin and aunt for the ENTIRE summer.

Johnny is a little excited though. His aunt works at the local 7-11 and gives him free slushies whenever he wants. The summer is starting to look pretty promising. Then, his mom drops the bomb. He has a JOB! He has to basically babysit his older cousin, Remember, while his aunt is at work every day.

Remember is not your normal 15 year old boy. As Johnny describes him, "He's what polite people call different. I call him weird. He doesn't have friends. He looks the wrong way when you speak to him. He either talks a mile a minute or not at all. He's stubborn and high-strung. I could go on and on."

Is this going to be the worst summer of Johnny's life?

I really enjoyed this book. It is a subject that has been touched on by many, but never quite as well as Shirley Vernick portrays it. Johnny is an average 13 year old boy. He's selfish, in love with a girl, and doesn't want to be stuck with his weird cousin all summer. Johnny is also a character that is easy to relate to. His love for his family shows on every page, even the ones where they are arguing with each other.

This book has plenty of angles to keep middle grade readers intrigued. There is some mystery involving a lost engagement ring, romance involving a best friend's sister, and bullying from the neighbor next door. However, the overall theme in this book is friendship. By the end of this book, you'll be yelling at Johnny to make the right decisions, yelling at Remember to hold it
together, and you will absolutely love how much the characters have developed throughout this book.

**Review copy provided by author**
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
an inspiring voice of a young teen who narrated how he spent his entire summer with his fellow young teen cousin, Mem, who has autism. He had engrained in his mind that it would be grim and burdensome. He described how he dealt with Mem"s uniqueness, and also pictured how her single- parent aunt's relentless love,strength, and positive outlook in caring for Mem.
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