Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Memorial” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  349 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A Moreton Bay Fig tree, planted as a memorial to Australian soldiers killed in World War I, is slated to be cut down by the local council. A young boy tells the moving story of the tree, as related by his great grandfather, grandfather, and father, each of whom has participated in wars over the years. Interweaving themes of war, memory, and conservation, this book blends a ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 11th 2004 by Simply Read Books (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 24, 2015 Charlotte rated it it was ok
At first memorial seemed almost like a scrap book with simple recollections of stories told to a child. However afte we read into the book more, we saw the book as implying the message of whether we should focus on looking at the memories we have in our heads or physically represent them. The themes within the book focus on war and memories. The reader would possibly need to know about events which happened within the war, to understand key events. However saying this, I do not know an awful lot ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Zohal rated it really liked it
Shelves: pictures
I was in the library for a lesson and I had some free time at the end of the lesson. I saw this picture book on one of the stands. The minute I saw the authors names I grabbed it. I love Gary Crew's stories. I've loved his works such as The Watertower, Beneath the Surface, Old Ridley and Caleb. I also read The Arrival by Shaun Tan, so when I saw they had done a collaborative work I couldn't stop myself from devouring it within seconds.

This was such a beautiful story. It was so simple and the il
Oct 20, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
I love finding books new to me in the library, and to find another book illustrated by Shaun Tan is a marvelous surprise. Here is a beauty of a book, filled with Tan’s gorgeous painting/collages of different wars in America, spoken about through the memories of a young boy, his great-grandfather, grandfather and father. The problem discussed is the town tree, planted long ago after World War I, but now uprooting a permanent statue, obstructing the view of traffic, and taking up too much space. ...more
May 05, 2014 Bec rated it liked it
I found this book as a realistic look at 4 generations of return soldiers - each one participating in a different war explaining to the youngest member of the family about the Morton Bay Fig that was planted as a memorial for the returned soldiers from World War I, and the memories each person had of this tree, down to the fight to stop it getting cut down. It discusses the value of memories and the question of do we need a physical object to act as a reminder.
The book which has been richly illu
Sulis Peri Hutan
Dec 28, 2015 Sulis Peri Hutan rated it really liked it
review lengkap

Then he smile and says, 'still, that don't mean they'll forget you. it's the fight in you they'll remember. that memory won't die - not like my old bones. even concrete and rock won't last forever. but memories, now they're different. memories, they're ever-livin' things. like you say, son, like our tree...'

As this review is primarily for 50books_poc, it's going to focus on the illustrations by Shaun Tan. Having said that, the story (comments by three generations of a family on the importance of the Moreton Bay Fig that forms part of the town's war memorial, now threatened by 'progress') is stunning, and raises multiple issues/discussion points that my small group at the Hebrew Scriptures intensive I did recently had a great deal of fun discussing.

The illustrations, though - oh, the illustrations.
Feb 09, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Australians firstly, but all people need to be reminded of the sacrifice of their soldiers
Despite having come across Gary Crew's work previously, I must confess it was Shaun Tan's involvement that made me pick this book up off the shelves. The marriage of the two of them in producing this is what ensured I did not replace it at the shop but left, rather guiltily feeling that I should not be spending money on children's books when there were so many other important things I needed. Each time I read it there is confirmation that I did the right thing.
In Australia, each generation has b
Jack Kirby and the X-man
This is a touching tribute to the small-town war memorial.

It represents what was a very small window of opportunity for a young boy to hear and understand the stories of his great-grandfather (World War I), grandfather (World War II) and father (Vietnam War) centred around their return from war and the celebrations that occured at the war memorial. With just one World War I survivor still with us in Australia the opportunity for a real-life version of this story is just about gone...

Shaun Tan
Mary Refalo
Apr 07, 2015 Mary Refalo rated it it was amazing
Memorial is a war story that traces the involvement in war of the male members of one Australian family through the 20th Century. Acclaimed Australian picture-book writers and illustrators, Gary Crew and Shaun Tan, use significant motifs on which to pivot the retrospective story of the young protagonist's great-grandfather, grandfather and father. The key element of the narrative is the future of the war memorials, both living and concrete, in the centre of the town square. Memorial is a picture ...more
Kelli Ryne
Jul 12, 2010 Kelli Ryne rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This artistic and beautifully told story allows students to approach a dialogue about memorials-- why do we have them, what is their purpose, how do they differ? Each character has a different relationship to the memorial which can be examined in studying criticisms and support of the Vietnam Memorial if studying that particular war. Students can compare and contrast memorials, discuss what they say about a national conscious of war and collective memory. Students may also use it in order to do ...more
Richard Greenwood
Nov 24, 2015 Richard Greenwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to understand the first time, but after reading carefully a few times more the links start to become clearer. Provokes thinking about the importance of physical places for memorial purposes. Are memories best left treasured in our minds? Should we sacrifice places of great importance to individuals? Do the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few? After all, the tree was there first...

The reader may need to have some understanding of when the World Wars took place, and their dates a
Soobie's heartbroken
Non so.

Ho preso questo libro in biblio perché avevo visto il nome di Shaun Tan in copertina. Di lui avevo letto L'approdo e mi ero innamorata dell'opera. Così.

Credo che i disegni non si leghino troppo alla storia. E la storia stessa, dei brevi paragrafi raccontanti dai membri di una stessa famiglia, passa così velocemente che non me ne sono resa conto.

Letto come pausa da Centomila gavette di ghiaccio.
Jan 27, 2013 Kel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Australians, Ex-Service personnel, Artists, Historians
A beautiful collaboration between Gary Crew (author) and Shaun Tan (artist), centered around the planting, growth and eventual destruction of a Morton Bay Fig tree, planted in memorial of those lost in World War One. The story spans generations and wars, in a captivating format of drawn photos merging with faces, paintings and timelines, of seedlings and flying bugs, the words and pictures a stunning memorial of the fallen and gives an honest glimpse of what ANZAC Day means to many Australians.

The Reading Countess
May 28, 2010 The Reading Countess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Shaun Tan prompted me to check Memorial out (Tales from Suburbia and The Arrival). The illustrations (naturally) don't disappoint. But the overaching story is what leaves me reeling. Ironically, I read this on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. Younger generations threaten to chop down the tree planted three generations ago in memory of the soldiers returning from war. This tale masterfully weaves the story of three generations living with the beloved tree, and the power of memories despite the ...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
It's hard not to love a book by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan! Both are fabulous, and together they are fantastic. This book from 1999 looks back to the end of the First World War in 1918. Returning soldiers plant a tree in the town square. The tree grows into an impressive memorial, too impressive, the roots start being a problem in the eyes of the local council, and it's future is under a cloud. Tan's beautiful, moving illustrations add so much to Gary Crew's story. An impressive read for the older ...more
Jonathan Balun
I thought that this book was really good. The animation is superb. Memorial is a picture book. It is the story of a young boy, and his relationship with a tree that was planted in town as part of a war memorial for the soldiers returning from WWI. The tree is part of the memory of three generations of his family that served in various wars. Now the city wants to cut it down. I checked this book out for a 4th grader. It seemed a little heavy for him. However, I liked it.
The Styling Librarian
Memorial by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan – Beautiful celebration of memories and reflection, life and war. I was quite excited to read this book and enjoy more brilliant beautiful illustrations of Shaun Tan. I was excited to share Shaun Tan’s work with my son, even though it is quite a sad story. We watched a promotion of The Lost Thing online to prepare ourselves.
Jun 28, 2013 Emkoshka rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Again this demonstrates the sheer versatility of Shaun Tan as an artist. Gary Crew's story of the life and death of a fig tree planted to commemorate World War I is illustrated in soft greys and yellows by Tan and is narrated through multiple viewpoints at different stages of the fig tree's growth. It's a metaphor for the way men have been cut down in war and yet continue to live on in memories.
Sep 30, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
An excellent example of Shaun Tan's range of artistic styles, also touching in its subject matter. I definitely find his artistry to be the most compelling thing about his collaborations with other authors.
May 18, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
Simple story about a boy learning about the importance of a local war memorial. His grandfather teaches him about his time as a soldier in World War I. When city officials want to tear the momument down, the family argues for its preservation. Shaun Tan illustrations are gorgeous.
Dec 08, 2015 B-zee rated it it was amazing
".... Even concrete and rock won't last forever. But memories, now they're different. Memories, they're ever-livin' things. ...."
Chris Miller
The story was fairly simple and meandering. There are some beautiful illustrations from Shaun Tan, but his usual style seemed muted and altered.
Jun 29, 2015 Ellie rated it it was amazing
I read this to my class during meditation over a few days.
Powerful imagery that accompanied the text.
Great message for 5/6 students!
Joey Dhaumya
Joey Dhaumya rated it liked it
Mar 28, 2015
The Little Bookroom
The Little Bookroom rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2012
Fiona rated it it was amazing
May 28, 2012
Tamara rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2013
Mathieu Martel
Mathieu Martel rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2013
Kate Kalinova
Kate Kalinova rated it liked it
May 28, 2012
Laura rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Rabbits
  • Fox
  • The Lost Thing
  • The Little Refugee
  • Unforgotten
  • Wombat Divine
  • Belonging
  • Are We There Yet?: A Journey Around Australia
  • Imagine a Day
  • My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch
  • Mr Archimedes' Bath
  • Looking for Atlantis
  • Museum ABC
  • The Story Blanket
  • Pete the Sheep-Sheep
  • The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard
  • Hairy Maclary's Showbusiness
  • The Sea Of Tranquility
Dr Gary Crew, author of novels, short stories and picture books for older children and young adults began his writing career in 1985, when he was a high school teacher. His books are challenging and intriguing, often based on non-fiction. As well as writing fiction, Gary is a Associate Professor in Creative Writing, Children's and Adult Literature, at the University of the Sunshine Coast, ...more
More about Gary Crew...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »