The Memory Bank is both is stange and wonderful at the same time. The book combines prose and illustration to share the story of sisters who love each other dearly. “Hope and Honey Scroggins were the closest of sisters, had been right from the start. Truly, they were lucky to love each other so! Not so lucky when it came to their parents, though. Mr. and Mrs. Scroggins were simply awful people.” (p.9)
Right after this passage the Scroggins unceremoniously leave Honey by the side of the road for laughing too much in the car. “Forget her,” they say to Hope and do. But Hope cannot and does not. Unable to forget and devasted by despair Hope retreats to her dreams. There at least she might glimpse something of her beloved Honey. As a result of too much dreaming, Hope is summoned to the World Wide Memory Bank (WWMB) where she is asked to account for her deficit of new memories. You can’t make new memories if you don’t participate in the real world – not something that typically happens to a nine-year old. The keepers of the Bank are quite surprised by this and not sure what to do. While plans are being made, Hope learns more about the conflict between the Clean Slate Gang, a group that seeks to destroy memories, and the WWMB, guardians of memories. She sees how memories are kept, shared and treasured and for the first time in her life she feels valued, wanted and cared for.
Meanwhile, Honey has been picked up by an exuberant,candy eating, live-in-the-moment group whose actions are told wordlessly via multi-page illustrated sections. The reader gradually sees how these stories will intersect.
Though a little confusing in some places, this book will make you think as you’re reading and after you are done. It will keep coming back to you. How will you live in the real-world? What memories will you keep in the Bank? Which will you picture and which will you record?