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The Memory Thief

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  35 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Adaptive Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
I found this book at B&N and bought it based on the summary for my 8 year old. He could not put the book down. He would rather forego bedtime than stop reading. He even told me he has recommended this book to his friends, and for a child who speaks about nothing but soccer and Pokemon, this says a lot about this book. The 5 stars are from him. He insisted that I have to spread the word about this book.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
Originally posted at:

It's been a while since I've dived into a middle-grade book with fantasy elements, but wow, this one was fantastic! I had a ton of fun reading The Memory Thief. Not only did it remind me of my middle school reading days, but it also was so captivating that I read it in one or two sittings. I'm so glad I got the chance to read and review this one, and I'm hoping there's going to be more.

Benji was such a great character, and I loved how
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down! Benji's encounter at the fair got him entangled in others' memories -- and the reader will similarly get caught up in this engaging novel. Loved the "mind" descriptions, storyline kept my interest. Conflict resolution rang true. Youngsters will love this book!
Sarah Monsma
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
When Benji meets Louis, a man who can not only read people’s minds but who collects and shares memories with others, he is intrigued, but when he hits upon the idea of removing some of his parents’ memories in order to stop them from fighting he becomes just a little obsessed with the idea. Benji brings his twin sister, Kelly, into the plan, but things begin to go downhill fast, because Louis is not the only memory thief at the fair, and, it turns out, there’s little honor among memory thieves. ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I will read any book that Bryce Moore publishes. They are clean, inventive, and entertaining. This one surprised me on another level, dealing with the very real and sobering situation of parents who are angry at each other and plan to divorce. It was handled very respectfully and not superficially at all, I don't know how you would even begin to do that.

The story focuses on a young boy who gains the ability to experience other people's memories, and even steal them. What kind of
Review coming after Cybils Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative winner announced.
Laina SpareTime
Cross-posted from my blog where there's more information on where I got my copy and everything.

While it's not going to be in my top ten or anything, this is a solid little book that I didn't really have any problem reading. It's not over the top wow amazing, but it's perfectly serviceable, and an enjoyable read. I definitely think there are things it could have done better, and I'll get into those things, but it wasn't bad by any means, and my feelings in general are satisfied. Let's jump into
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

While I had a hard time engage with this book, I thought it was an interesting idea, I loved how the main character grew and came to understand the importance of memories and the appropriatness of not messing with people's minds, and the ending. Through trial and error and seeing his own mistakes, he comes to realize that you can force a change or just take something from someone, even if you think it would be for the better. You can't just go for an easy fix. I loved how the story
Mark Buxton
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My name is Benji, and I didn't mean to become a memory thief. My parents were fighting again at the fair, I was being chased by bullies, and I ducked into Louie's tent to get away. Louie is a memory thief, and he already knew what I was thinking and even put one of his memories right into my mind! He warned me to stay away from a lady with tattoos, but I didn't listen. She showed up, my twin sister forgot who I was, and then Louie died right in front of me! Before he died, Louie put all of his ...more
Valerie McEnroe
If you're a person who loves carnivals, especially the fortune teller tent, this book is for you. Twins Benji and Kelly are at the carnival when Benji slips into a side tent where a man claims to exchange memories. He lets Benji experience one new memory for free. Benji is hooked and convinces Kelly that they need to get their parents in there. They are divorcing and Benji thinks if he can wipe out his parent's negative memories of each other they will stay married.

Unfortunately, the tattooed
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE MEMORY THIEF follows Benji, who has to save his family's memories before it's too late. It's an entertaining light read that is perfect for fans of middle grade fiction.

In THE MEMORY THIEF, Benji and his twin sister Kelly attend a fair with their parents. To escape the fighting between his parents, Benji runs off and finds himself at the Memory Emporium. It's a place to buy and sell memories and is run by an old man named Louis. But Louis isn't only there for business. He's searching for a
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome ideas and themes in this book! And the author sounds like a great guy. My only critique of the book was a big one: the narrative voice. The kid stressed me out with all his high anxiety and indecisiveness. There were times he went back and forth so much it grew frustrating to read. Though the storyline justified his high-anxiety, I would've loved to have had the author somehow incorporate a witty sidekick to break up all the tension and anxiety, rather than the reader being stuck in this ...more
A timid boy has to step up to save his family when a wicked magician steals their memories. I liked how Benji had to work at courage especially once he loses the support of his more assertive sister. I didn't like how often the plot turned on luck -- Benji worked hard to untie himself, but the final confrontation relied on chance. And the cascade of final revelations unbalanced things a bit. But the theme of memory and identity gives meat to the adventure and I bet kids would enjoy this.

Set in
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was a fun, quick read. Super quick for me, but middle school was a long time ago.

I really liked the description as "Inside Out meets a modern Something Wicked This Way Comes [...]."
I completely understood Benji's feelings about his family having gone through a divorce as a child myself (though my experience was somewhat less horrific). This is exactly the kind of power I would've imagined and wanted back then. Heck, I finished the book and I still kind of want to, in spite of the obvious
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
Some people are able to steal memories. They are the Memory Thieves and the main character meets a master thief at the local carnival. Twins Benji and Kelly are worn out from how often their parents fight and argue. They run off to explore the carnival and Benji meets Louis, a master Memory Thief. He works against a second memory thief to save his family's memories and the town.
Plenty of action though much of it is mental.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this fast-paced MG novel about the importance of memory. The characters aren't anything special -- they're not very fleshed-out or that interesting -- but the book's premise is intriguing, the plot moves along quickly, and, although it features more telling than showing, the writing is better than expected. Overall, it offers an enjoyable and thought-provoking story.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens if you go to the fair and find a dude that can give and take memories? And what if that dude has an "apprentice" that's gone bad and wants to steal everyone's memories? Including your family's? What then???
Susan Ward
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read.
Audrey B
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You never knew what was going to happen specificity but you knew it was going to be awesome.
Dani Walters
There wasn’t anything wrong with this book, it just didn’t super interest me.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good plot. The writting is a bit blank. No surdisticated sentences. But besides that, it was a very entertaining book and I enjoyed it.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. I never put the book down the entire time I read it (with the exception of sleeping) because it was just so good! Everything was well thought out and it was interesting to see.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent tale about the power of memories and how they make us who we are.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book by its premise more than its genre, as I generally don't read many middle grade fantasies. It takes a mature idea--how memories shape our identity--and gives it a clever hypothetical scenario readers of all ages can relate to. Who doesn't have memories they would like to forget or replace with something better? What would be the cost if we could? Imagery I loved in the book: the nostalgic excitement of a county fair in a small town, memory libraries as actual rooms that ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
I was provided a review copy by Adaptive Studios through Edelweiss, and since my pre-teens and I enjoy reading MG fiction together, I gladly agreed to share my thoughts.

First of all, this book does not shy away from describing the brutal impact of divorce on young children. The arguments and yelling that the main character clearly overhears from his parents are shared as an everyday occurrence in their household, including the parents’ discussion on divorce proceedings. The main character (Ben)
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well now, this was fun! I'll spare you my standard spiel on how important I think MG fiction is, and just tell you straight out that this book is going to appeal to a lot of young readers. It's intriguing, fast-paced, and actually rings true to real life despite its premise. What if you could share other people's life experiences? Would you take that opportunity? What if you could actually take memories away from people? Is that okay, if they won't remember and it might improve their lives? So ...more
Dave Orton
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Memory Thief, by Bryce Moore, starts of with my greatest childhood fear: that my parents might get divorced. To avoid this, one would do almost anything. But it turns out that there are worse things than the prospect of having to choose Thanksgiving with Mom, and Christmas with Dad.

The magic of the book is the ability to give, take, and... steal memories. This magic is not cause without effect, and the protagonist gets to see the immediate benefits and long term costs of improper use of
Chelsea Dyreng
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't your average middle grade page-turner. This book deals with some serious topics (divorce) and definitely had a "Something Wicked This Way Comes" creepiness about it. It is about a boy who meets a man at a fair who can erase, add or replace memories. The boy sees this as a solution to his current family crisis: his parents' impending divorce. He decides to erase the bad memories his parents have for each other so that maybe they will remember why they liked each other in the first ...more
Monique  Diplock
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Review: I accepted this book for review thinking it would be a quick easy read that would entertain me on a rainy day, and it did exactly that, only the day wasnt rainy it was just extremely over cast, but it was cold, so i could accept that as a happy medium.
This novel had such a thought out way of explaining a core part of human life in a way that will have it's middle grade readers taking away a deep and personal message from this.
The Memory Thief I'm not too familiar with reading books
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always a little odd to review a book when you know the author, but it can also be easy when you really like the book. I was more than pleasantly surprised at Moore's second book, The Memory Thief. This is a children's book for kids ages 8-12, but definitely has some dark stuff in here. Really GOOD dark stuff. Memories being stolen and sold on the black market, leaving some people feeling bereft instead of happy. People that had too many memories stolen ended up with black, creepy eyes, and ...more
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Also writes under the pseudonym Albert Packard.