Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Mar 10, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King is a 2011 Printz Honor Book.  The book begins with high school senior, Vera Dietz, attending the funeral of her best friend Charlie Kahn.  At least Charlie had been her best friend until about five months ago when things started to go horribly wrong and he ditched Vera to hang with the "Dentionheads".

Charlie and Vera had been best friends since grade school.  They hung out together, climbed trees, built a tree house, flew paper airplanes from the Pagoda.  Secretly, Vera's been in love with Charlie for years.  And she's kept a lot of his secrets.  Even when they're dangerous secrets.  Charlie has died leaving behind some important secrets which he hid for Vera to find and use to clear his name.  He intends to haunt her until she gets over her anger at the way he treated her the last few months of his life and lead her to the clues that will clear his name.

Vera and her dad, Ken Dietz, also have a lot of things to work through.  Vera's mom, a former and perhaps current stripper, left them when Vera was twelve.  Hence, Vera wanting to be ignored lest anyone find out about her mother's racy past.  Ken is a recovering alcoholic and tries to guide Vera away from teenage drinking, however, dealing with her guilt about Charlie and feelings about being left by her mother Vera strays from the straight and narrow path her father would like and experiments with alcohol and starts dating a 23 year old from work.

In the end, after several mishaps and dangerous situations, Vera does the right thing, clears Charlie's name, cleans up her act, works things out with her father and becomes "invincible" Vera Dietz.

Reviewed by Lisa J.
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