The Memory Thiefby Bryce Moore
Twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair after witnessing their parents argue. When Benji runs into a group of bullies, he escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to
Twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair after witnessing their parents argue. When Benji runs into a group of bullies, he escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to see other memories Louis has collected from people over the years.
Benji quickly realizes the ability to take memories could help his parents stop fighting with each other, and he asks Louis to teach him how to become a “memory thief.” But Louis isn't the only person with the ability to show and manipulate memories. There's also the mysterious Genevieve, a Memory Thief with much more nefarious motives.
Benji learns how to manipulate memories himself, but having that power comes at a cost to his family, and possibly to his own mind as well. Genevieve’s powers get out of control as she steals more and more memories from people in townincluding Benji’s sister, Kelly. Benji must learn to use this newfound power, as he is the only one able to stop Genevieve.
Memories are slippery things.Twelve-year-olds Benjamin and his fraternal twin, Kelly, look forward to the Adams County fair every year. There isn't much to do in their corner of Maine besides listen to their parents bicker. This year a new tent appears on the fairgrounds: the Memory Emporium, where a wizened man says he can take and share memories. Narrator Ben hopes that he can help his parents forget their anger. But when he returns to the tent, a young tattooed woman has taken the old man's place. She promises to help the white preteens with their problem if she can have a few memories in return. Her solution seems to harm more than help, though, as the memories of the fairgoers are disappearing, including Kelly's and their parents'. It's up to Ben to figure out how to restore the minds of his family and town before he is forgotten as well. Moore crafts a compelling premise and a plot that delivers more than might be expected. Ben initially believes that a memory is an objective moment in time, but the quest to restore memories brings him to a deeper understanding of how they affect a life. Memories are not separate—they are integral to who we are. With interesting twists, captivating action, and a down-to-earth lead, this adventure is sure to become a new favorite. (Fantasy. 8-12)
- Adaptive Studios
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Bryce Moore is the author of Vodnik (Tu, 2012). When he’s not authoring, he’s a librarian in Western Maine, where he’s also the current president of the Maine Library Association. He’s been happily married since 2001 and is doing his best to raise three new geeks of his very own, while simultaneously convincing his wife that sci-fi/fantasy is awesome. He uses his spare time to fix up his old 1841 farmhouse and shovel snow.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The Memory Thief is a great read for kids and adults alike. The concept is unique and interesting, and the story gets more engaging the more you read. I absolutely loved it!
This book isn't your average middle grade page-turner. This book deals with some serious topics (divorce) and definitely had a "Something Wicked This Way Comes" creepiness about it. It is about a boy who meets a man at a fair who can erase, add or replace memories. The boy sees this as a solution to his current family crisis: his parents' impending divorce. He decides to erase the bad memories his parents have for each other so that maybe they will remember why they liked each other in the first place. Of course, once he accomplishes this, things go horribly wrong. This book is elaborately spooky and had all the elements of a satisfying October read: mysterious whispering voices, sinister magic, and creepy carnies with tattoos that move. I thought that there were times in the middle that things got a little complicated and that the author had to do too much explaining to keep the magicality plausible, but other than that I thought it was a fascinating, imaginative, fun read with a powerful and heartwarming ending.
I was drawn to this book by its premise more than its genre, as I generally don't read many middle grade fantasies. It takes a mature idea--how memories shape our identity--and gives it a clever hypothetical scenario readers of all ages can relate to. Who doesn't have memories they would like to forget or replace with something better? What would be the cost if we could? Imagery I loved in the book: the nostalgic excitement of a county fair in a small town, memory libraries as actual rooms that differ from person to person. The story takes clever turns with just the right amount of creepiness and humor, and then keeps your mind engaged even after you finish. Happy to recommend it.