Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review: The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman, illustrated by Rob Shepperton

Book: The Memory Bank
Author: Carolyn Coman
Illustrator: Rob Shepperton
Published: 2010
Source: Local Library

Hope has always known that her parents were pretty much gigantic failures in the loving and nurturing department. But even she is taken aback when they dump her little sister, Honey, on the side of the road for laughing too much during a long car ride. They tear off, leaving a small child in a cloud of dust, and order Hope to forget her.

Hope retreats into hours and hours of sleep so she can dream of her sister, and leaves real life behind. Then she gets repossessed by the Memory Bank, because she’s been spending so much time asleep that she hasn’t made any new memories.

For the first time in her life, Hope finds love and approval. But still, Honey is out there somewhere, and Hope knows she needs to find her. She has a feeling that the Memory Bank holds the key.

Often with these books, you try to think of other books to compare them to. I knew before I was a quarter of the way through that The Memory Bank was utterly unique. It’s sort of Dahl/Grimm-esque, with the awful parents, but with more gentleness than those. Honey’s story after her abandonment is told almost exclusively in pictures, while Hope’s is told in text. This makes it a very, very quick read. I think I tore through it in about an hour. It's a quirky little book, maybe not perfect for every kid, but the ones who love magnificent flights of fancy with a powerful human underpinning will eat it up.

No comments: