Fifteen-year-old Baxter Green has synesthesia; he hears voices as colors, textures or sounds.
And he never forgets anything. He’s never forgotten his homework, never lost a library book, never lost a shoe. He remembers every day of his life as if it just happened, even kindergarten and a little girl named Halle with daffodils in her voice. When he and his mother move to Wellington, Minn., to hide out from his mother’s criminal ex-boyfriend, who used Baxter’s memory for a credit card scam and went to prison, Baxter hopes to hide his unusual powers, fit in and never again be known as The Memory Boy. But Halle happens to live in Wellington now, too. Baxter doesn’t let on that he knows her and remembers everything about her, not wanting Halle to think him a freak with a weird superpower. A lot is going here—an exploration of synesthesia and memory, a crime story, an environmental drama, family relationships and a sweet, earnest love story with a nod to The Great Gatsby. But everything works, and, ultimately, it’s all of these things together that lead to Baxter’s transformation into a boy who doesn’t have to make himself invisible to fit in.
It’s a sweet love story, where holding hands with Halle, a kiss and being loved for who you are enough to make Baxter’s world anew. (Fiction. 11 & up)