Memory Bank, The.jpg

The Memory Bank

Written by Carolyn Coman

Illustrated by Rob Shepperson

Unforgettable! A classic in the making from an award-winning team.

The Clean Slate Gang and the World Wide Memory Bank are at war.

Lollipops have been found clogging the great machines that take in and store al the memories being formed in the world. Bonfires have been set. Practical jokes are gumming up the works. And the mischief is getting more serious.

Caught in the middle is Hope Scroggins, who's been summoned to the bank for failing to record New Memories. And THAT'S because her hideously awful parents told her to FORGET her beloved little sister, Honey, who is out there somewhere, needing her.

Somehow Hope figures out that the World Wide Memory Bank holds the key to finding Honey, and maybe even a chance at happiness! But can she find it in time, before the CSG takes away her last, best shot at finding her sister?

Reviews and Awards

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2010

⋆ “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.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

⋆ “Is this book brilliant or bizarre? Maybe some of each. The Dursleys have nothing on the parents of Hope and Honey Scroggins, a couple so unrelentingly awful they abandon little Honey when she disobeys them. Hope is told to forget her, but that she can’t do. Then life takes another dizzying turn when Hope is picked up by a fellow named Obleratta and taken to the Memory Bank, where both memories and dreams are sorted and stored. Hope has been called in for a violation—not enough memories—but once there, she makes herself useful and doesn’t want to go home. Besides, the Bank is being attacked by the Clean Slate Gang, who wipes out memories by stuffing candy down the sorting machine. The book’s uniqueness does not really come from the story, which can be confusing, though it also delights, with surprising, hard-to-forget characters and richly conceived scenarios. What makes this special is Shepperson’s black-and-white art. Some pictures chronicle Hope’s adventures, but others on a parallel track tell Honey’s story in wordless spreads. Exuberantly alive, the pictures shape this into a cross between illustrated middle-grade fiction and graphic novel, for a somewhat younger audience than Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007). Like that book, children will return again and again to study the images here and incorporate them into the sweeping tale of love lost and miraculously found.” - Booklist, starred review

“More than half of the book consists of full-page pen-and-ink and pencil drawings that propel the story as much as the text does…Varied use of shading, line, and perspective makes each scene distinct as the plot progresses visually.” - School Library Journal

“[T]he sisters’ tender relationship provides a rewarding unifying thread.” - Publishers Weekly 

Purchase Options
Indiebound Scholastic Store • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2010
Illustrated Novel
ISBN: 978-0-545-21066-9
Price: $16.99 / $21.99
Trim Size: 6" x 7 1/2"
Page Count: 288
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes