A boy troll who steals other people’s memories, but can’t remember his own and a girl who is trying to forget painful memories collide and form an unlikely alliance.
I was swept away quickly into the story, with descriptive language playing a large part of that immersive experience, “huge patterns of lichen explode across the slate roof, bursting into circular rings like frozen fireworks.” It was a pleasure to read such imagery in a book targeted at the 9+ age bracket.
I know chapter books are not usually noted for their illustrations, however Kieran Rynhart’s illustrations throughout the book are magical, and opening each chapter with words nestled amongst the view of a twisted oak tree make the reader feel like they are slipping deeper and deeper into the magical story.
The Memory Thief is an original take on Scandinavian mythology set in a NZ public garden, with themes of empathy and friendship, a fabulous read aloud and perfect for young readers who like fantasy mixed with a bit of adventure. Storylines have also included The Memory Thief in their 2021 Notable Books List.
Title: The Memory Thief
Author: Leonie Agnew
Illustrator: Kieran Rynhart
Publisher: Penguin Random House New Zealand
Publication: July 2021
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended.
Opening sentence: ‘Max?’ Follow the voice.