Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review Friday -- The Memory Bank

Something really strange happened to my Wednesday post about almost being a juror.  It disappeared before I could respond to comments.  Go figure.  Pressed the wrong button?  I dunno.  Anyway, my apologies to those who had a comment.  Because then it came back -- minus the comments!

Meanwhile, here is the promised book review for Book Review Friday.  This is a re-post from Sacramento Book Review.  By all means, check out the site and read good reviews by other reviewers, as well as some essays by interesting columnists on a variety of topics.

The review:

The Memory Bank

By Carolyn Coman
Arthur A. Levine Books, $16.99, 280 pages
This remarkable book about two neglected children uses an innovative approach for the narrative. The book opens with eight pictures showing Hope dressing her baby sister and giving her a whistle to wear.  (The whistle will prove important later.) The text begins with a car ride where their parents abandon Honeyon the roadside and tell Hope to forget her. Hope cannot forget. For the rest of the book, pictures alternate with text as Hope tries to find out what happened to her sister.
“Hope sprang up in bed like she was spring-loaded at the waist, her sister’s name thundering inside her head. But no sooner had the dream awakened her than it was chased away by what she had awakened to. Where was she?  Oh yes, yes, now she remembered: the Dream Vault.”
Hope moves into the garage. When she isn’t slaving over chores, she sleeps and dreams about Honey. One night a mysterious stranger shows up to take Hope to the World Wide Memory Bank. The Bank’s administrator, Sterling Prion, is concerned about Honey’s lack of memory deposits. Violetta Mumm, who runs the Dream Vault, is fascinated by Hope’s dreams. Everyone is concerned about a mysterious Clean Slate Gang that seems bent on destroying the Memory Bank. By the book’s end, all these strands converge in unexpected ways.
Coman distills her quirky, humorous text like poetry. Honey is an utterly charming heroine. Shepperson’s black and white illustrations quiver with life. This is a book to savor.


Rosi said...

This looks like a really interesting book. May I borrow it?

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

You sure can. It should make good reading on the plane and after classes at your workshop!

Michelle Fayard said...

This does sound like a fascinating read. As always, you are a master at writing a trenchant review without going over 300 words. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

This sure looks a great book. I loved the review, and am eager to read the book. It sounds like a book I know I will love.

Jackee said...

What an interesting book! Very unique in its premise. Middle Grade, right? Thanks for sharing. P.S. Did I ever tell you my husband is from Loomis, just north of you? :o) His dad works downtown Sac--probably not far from you. LOL!

Have a wonderful day!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Michelle.

Rachna, I think ou would like the book. The telling is what is so unique!

Jackee, I didn't know that. Small world. Did he ever know Bill Power? (Bill used to be in a writing group with me long ago before he and his family moved to Portola. He was in Loomis when he was in our group.

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for tweeting my post, Elizabeth!