Author: Bryce Moore
Title: The Memory Thief
Publication: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Audience: Middle Grade
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After witnessing another one of their parents’ public fights, twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair. Benji runs into a group of bullies and escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to see other memories Louis has collected from people over the years.
Benji quickly realizes the ability to take memories could help his parents stop fighting with each other, and he asks Louis to teach him how to become a Memory Thief. But Louis isn’t the only person with the ability to show and manipulate memories. There’s also the mysterious Genevieve, a Memory Thief with much more nefarious motives.
Benji learns how to manipulate memories himself, but having that power comes at a cost to his family, and possible to his own mind as well. Genevieve’s powers get out of control as she steals more and more memories from people in town – including Benji’s sister, Kelly. Benji must learn to use this newfound power, as he is the only one able to stop Genevieve.
Benji doesn't feel brave not like his sister Kelly. She the one that always stands up for him. One night at the fair his parents are arguing. Benji wonders why they just didn't stay at home, they are so focused on besting one another that they fail to notice when their son wanders off. He then gets chased by some school bullies that eventually leads him to Louis, the memory thief. He's amazed at the discovery and ponders if this will be what he needs to fix his parents but things don't exactly happen the way he plans.
Benji seems to do everything that the old man Louis told him not do. His life seems to spiral out of control the more he attempts to change the situation. What I like about Benji is that he never gives up and gradually he becomes stronger. It was nice seeing how his character matured through the obstacles he faced and even seeming more adult than the older characters at one point. It's amazing that with the huge responsibility handed to him in the beginning, he somehow learns to carry the load, although with some necessary thievery involved. Overall, I think this is a good book about growth, family and friendship that I think anyone would enjoy.