"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

THE MEMORY BANK by Carolyn Coman

The whole reading-aloud thing can be a bit tricky. Sometimes during read-alouds, I admit it, my mind tends to wander. And I admit also, when I went to the Friday night reading party for our SCBWI conference, I figured this was a strong possibility. But...

From the second the readings started, I was spellbound. Wait, I want to make sure I'm clear on that, so I'll spell it out.

Of the authors reading, one of them was Carolyn Coman who had an amazing slideshow to go along with the words. From the second she started describing her book, the audience could not take their eyes off the screen.

THE MEMORY BANK by Carolyn Coman, illustrated by Rob Shepperson (AAL/Scholastic, October 1, 2010)

So the basic story of the memory bank is about two sisters and a set of horrible parents. The youngest sister is left on the side of the road and the parents tell the older sister to "forget her." I heard this, and I saw the amazing sketches of these two sisters, and their bond was so clear and evident, all I wanted to do was go home and cuddle my kids. And once I got home and got said cuddling out of the way, I dug around my bookshelves and found an ARC of THE MEMORY BANK that I'd managed to snag at BEA. I told my kids all about the book, and my son grabbed it from me and would not put it down. I had to pry it out of his sleeping hands at 11:45 that night.

Once he finished it, I was finally able to read it, and honestly, I just adored it. I'd highly recommend it for boys and girls, third grade and up, kids with siblings (or not), fans of Hugo Cabret (as it is filled with illustrations), fans of fantasy or realistic fiction. With the numerous illustrations, it's also a great choice for reluctant readers.

From Amazon:

THE MEMORY BANK is the story of Hope Scroggins, who lives with her beloved sister Honey and the Dursley-esque parents they share. In fact these parents are SO horribly awful that one day, when the sisters disobey the rule against "no laughing", they banish Honey forever, telling Hope that she must simply "forget" her.

Hope knows that she HAS to find her sister again, before her memories of Honey fade. But before she can even begin to look, she's whisked away to the World Wide Memory Bank, where her accounts are in disarray...

There she learns about the process of how dreams and memories are kept safe. She also learns that there's a group of misfits called the Clean Slate Gang who want to destroy the Memory Bank, and all of the dreams and memories kept there. What she doesn't know is that Honey has been picked up by the Clean Slate Gang, and they're heading right for the Memory Bank.

The story of how Hope makes her way through this brewing conflict and rescues her little sister is full of tension and suspense, set in a vividly imagined world of strange machines and wonderful characters.

Source or ARC: From publisher at BEA


Hannah Kincade said...

ooh, that sounds so good. I love when a read-aloud turns mesmerizing. I will add that to my list!

PJ Hoover said...

I loved it, Hannah! Hope you do, too!

storyqueen said...

I am going to have to get my hands on this book!

Thanks for the heads up.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love Carolyn Coman. And now I want that book!! :-)

PJ Hoover said...

It was really like finding a special treat, you guys. Loved it!