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THE MEMORY BANK by Carolyn Coman Kirkus Star


by Carolyn Coman & illustrated by Rob Shepperson

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-21066-9
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Children’s literature has a long history of cruel parents, but Hope Scroggins’s are so heartless, they kick their tiny girl Honey out of the car for laughing… and never turn back. Hope is ordered to forget her sister, but she can’t. Depressed, she starts sleeping day and night. Enter the World Wide Memory Bank (WWMB). Detecting an unusual imbalance in Hope’s dreams (too many) and memories (too few new ones), the WWMB dispatches an agent, Obleratta, to pick her up in the dead of night. He drives her to headquarters, with its memory-harvesting bank and sumptuous, be-pillowed Dream Vault, and, for the first time in her life, Hope feels valued. The overall effect is uncannily Dahl-like, with vividly wrought settings involving elaborate, unlikely contraptions and larger-than-life characters. Energetic Quentin Blake–like pencil illustrations tell the tale of Hope’s beloved Honey as she falls in with a rebel lot of lost children who threaten to overthrow the WWMB. Brilliantly crafted, thoroughly enjoyable and, though so very like Dahl, unique as a fascinating new way to ponder dreams and memories. (Fiction. 8-12)