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...
About the Author
Carolyn Coman was born in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Hampshire College, where she studied writing. She is the author of WHAT JAMIE SAW, a Newbery Honor book, and MANY STONES, a Michael L. Printz Honor book. Both books were also National Book Award Finalists. She lives in New Hampshire.
Rob Shepperson's drawings appear regularly in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and he illustrated THE BIG HOUSE, by Carolyn Coman. He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Memory Bank based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This is somewhat reminiscent of The Invention of Hugo Cabret in how it uses illustrations combined with the text to advance the story. Even though it's a story of parental abandonment and neglect, it's told in a light manner so most kids will not be disturbed by it. Hope and her sister Honey are devoted to each other, but their parents (who are not very present in the book) couldn't be bothered with them. They abandon Honey when she annoys them. Hope is devastated, and since she can't find Honey she spends her time in bed, dreaming. But because she hasn't been having experiences which would have added memories to her "memory bank", she is picked up by the World Wide Memory Bank (WWMB) to investigate her lack of new memories. There, she finally finds people who are nice to her. Not only does she love it there, she hopes that the WWMB can lead her to Honey.
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. It looked like a fun book and had excellent reviews. After reading it though I have mixed feelings about it. There were some things I really didn't like and some things I really liked.When Hope's little sister Honey is abandoned by their terrible parents. Hope falls into a deep depression; she spends long periods of her life sleeping. Then one day a man in a van shows up to take her to the Memory Bank because of a deficiency in her memory bank account. Hope finds herself in a crazy world of memories and dreams; hoping beyond hope that she will find someway back to her sister Honey.First let's talk about things I liked. This is a very creative book. The idea of a Memory Bank was very interesting and fun. The story alternates between words (mostly Hope's part of the story) and pictures (Honey's part of the story). I really thought that the authors cleverly integrated the pictures and story to create a great overall picture of what was happening. As far as the plot; this story does emphasize how great it is to have love between siblings and for siblings to care about and help each other.Unfortunately there were a lot of things I didn't like. The story was a bit dark to read to children (and I am the queen of reading dark stories to my kid). The idea of parents abandoning a small child in the middle of the road and of Hope's almost comatose like depression are very dark and serious; and I am not sure a young kid would be ready to deal with those types of things. I get that they were supposed to kind of darkly funny; but the way it was told added a bit too much realism to not take it all seriously. I also got a very yucky feeling when Hope decides to climb in a big white unknown van with some older guy...I was thinking okay...this is sooo not something I want to teach my kid to do. Yup, son, getting into big white vans with a strange man will lead you to a magical world where everyone treats you special...In addition to the above I thought the story was kind of boring. My son and I started reading it together but it wouldn't hold his attention, so I finished reading it myself and was mainly glad when the story was over with. While the Memory Bank idea was neat, there were a lot of miscellaneous facts about how it worked that were boring. There isn't a ton of action and the story overall is pretty predictable.Overall, some neat ideas and concepts. I loved how the story was integrated with picture sequences to tell the story. I would read it to older children; it is too dark for younger children and would put some questionable ideas into younger kids' heads. It does tell a positive story about caring and love between sisters; but to be honest some of my son's Franklin books (like Franklin and Harriet) do the same thing. It is not something I would read again and, to be honest, I am glad I got it through Vine and didn't spend money on it.
Hope and Honey Scroggins have terrible parents. Their parents are so bad that it's no surprise to Hope when they leave tiny little Honey at the side of the road. "Just forget her" is the constant refrain from the adult members of the Scroggins family, who sell off Honey's belongings and take over their children's room. Hope is crushed and retreats into sleep to escape the heartbreak of her sister's loss. But sleeping all of the time means that Hope isn't building any real life memories, so the Memory Bank sends a notice to Hope telling her that she has a deficit in her memory deposits. Though she doesn't understand the letter, Hope cherishes her first letter and hides it under her cot in the garage before going back to sleep to dream about Honey. A short time later, Mr. Obleratta shows up to take her to the WWMB, the World Wide Memory Bank. Hope's adventure truly begins as she is placed on a conveyor belt and sent into the WWMD to justify why she is dreaming more than living. Within the WWMD, Hope meets all kinds of people and experiences positive adult relationships for the first time. This is an enchanting story of two little girls whose love for each other ties them together despite separation and different experiences. Coman's narrative about Hope's adventure is interspersed with Shepperson's series of delightful illustrations that tell Honey's story. THE MEMORY BANK is an enjoyable experience that would work great for young readers, for classrooms, or family discussions.