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The Memory Keeper

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A story about long-buried secrets, the power of memory, and the bond between a girl and her gram.

All Lulu Carter wants is to be seen. But her parents are lost in their own worlds, and Lulu has learned the hard way that having something as rare as HSAM—the ability to remember almost every single moment in her life—won’t make you popular in school.

At least Lulu has Gram, who
Published 2019 by Aladdin
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  239 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Three things I loved about this book: 1) All the brain and memory facts woven into the narrative with a bonus brain diagram at the beginning. 2) Family is valued in words and deeds. 3) The addition of Russian language and a bit of culture. This book is on the short list for the Missouri Mark Twain Award and I am glad that will put this book in the hands of thousands of middle grade kids who may also have a grandparent who is struggling with Alzheimer's. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Lulu lives with her parents, younger brother Clay, and grandmother Sue in San Francisco. Family life has been rough since the death of a toddler sister when Lulu was three, but her grandmother's presence has been a stabilizing one, and the grandmother is the only one Lulu has told about her secret. Lulu has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, and can remember every detail of her entire life. She has mentioned specific facts about events in the past to people at sc
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I wish I had read this book sooner as I love stories with a strong grandmotherly character. Lulu lives with her family which includes her grandma. She is very close with her grandma who begins to struggle with memory problems. This is something I am going through with my own mother currently, and I think it’s a great topic for MG readers. I thoroughly enjoyed this MG! Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster.
Naomi Milliner
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful, heartfelt MG debut by Jennifer Camiccia is as luminous as its cover. At its center is the always heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, relationship between the young heroine and her beloved grandmother. It will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Susan Lefman
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lulu can remember every day down to what color shirt someone was wearing. Gram can't remember where they parked in the parking lot, to turn off the stove and has moments of speaking with the accent of a cartoon villain.

Lulu believes that Gram's memory loss is due to something her past. While looking for a book that Gram promised to share with her, Lulu finds a diary in a language she doesn't recognize and a passport from France.

Lulu enlists the help of her friends Max and Olivia to try to uncov
Kathy Iwanicki
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very sweet story of a girl and her grandmother. Lulu remembers everything while her grandmother is beginning to forget things. Interwoven brilliantly in this story is information about the brain and how it works. Very clever! This book will make an awesome addition to a classroom library.
Jacqueline Firkins
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a sweet and love-filled story that's part mystery, part history, and part coming of age tale about a girl who learns a few complexities regarding family and friendships. The central relationship between Lulu and her grandmother follows a lovely arc about exchanging memories, handing them off so they can be delivered back when the initial narrator no longer recalls the details. It shows what the young can offer the old simply by listening and caring. It's a powerful lesson for a middle g ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was great, I loved it. It teaches about a girl and her grandma who never gave up hope. There were a lot of ups and downs but a lot of good lessons learned. I definitely recommend it.
░▒▓█ Nguyễn  Thiên Hà
I haven't read popular girls school drama in a long time and I'm getting picker every day so sorry if this review doesn't satisfy you.
The Memory Keeper:
“ᗩll people are Ᏸorn different, for better for worse, but some are unique in all ways”

Lulu Carter cannot understand herself, her extraordinary memory condition that doesn't help her in life which she chooses to hide in pain, and how she is different from others. Only her grandmother knows, which her parents reject and ignore, leaving Lulu alone.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice story. Each chapter is prefaced with a brain explanation, which helps to understand the story line.
Gail Shepherd
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This touching story of a girl's quest to learn the truth of her grandmother's mysterious origins will be beloved by middle grade readers, and is particularly good for STEM tie-ins. Lula has HSAM, or Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, which means she can remember every day of her life in striking detail. Meanwhile, her grandmother appears to be losing her own memory, perhaps because she is suppressing an early trauma. Lulu's spunkiness and grit shine in this engaging debut novel, as she nav ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
**Note: This review is spoiler-free**

I loved the family dynamics in this story. Lulu’s family wasn’t perfect but they were real. Her father was a professor who worked a lot; her mother was an artist who spent days cooped up in her home studio. While Lulu grew distant from her mom and dad in recent years, she was closest to her Gram, who looked after both her and her baby brother. When Gram began to lose her memory, Lulu thought that there could be one traumatic memory in her past that was respon
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Kidwell
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Memory Keeper
by Jennifer Camiccia

Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing


Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 15 Oct 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The Memory Keeper through Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publication/Aladdin and Netgalley!

Lulu Carter is different from other girls her age she has a rare condition called HSAM which means she remembers most all the details of her life, but it does not bring her popularity in school and her parents are off in their own world so she doesn’t get much
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia, 352 pages. Aladdin, 2019. $18.

Language: G Mature Content: G Violence: G



Ever since Lulu’s little sister died her mother has been a hands-off parent. Her live-in grandmother has been her rock. But she's been forgetting important things lately and Lulu doesn’t want her parents to find out. To help her grandmother remember, she begins recording stories about her past, and "borrows" her childhood journal t
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Highly superior autobiographical memory, HSAM for short, is almost a blessing and a curse for twelve-year old Lulu Carter—she can distinctly remember wonderful moments with her parents before tragedy struck the family, but is now feeling disconnected from them as they deal with their grief. She spends most of her time with her beloved Gram who truly sees her, but is becoming more and more forgetful. THE MEMORY KEEPER by Jennifer Camiccia is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful story that follows selfle ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Memory Keeper is a wonderful novel about a young girl with an incredible memory. Lulu, the main character, is dealing with a grandmother who is battling Alzheimer's as well as parents who seem to have forgotten about her. As an adult reading this book, I struggled with the parents' treatment of Lulu and her brother. It definitely bordered on neglectful. However, the rest of the book was wonderful. The intrigue as Lulu and her friends try to uncover the truth about Lulu's grandmother's past k ...more
Kathleen Guinnane
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Lulu can remember everything that's ever happened to her. Her memory is perfect. Unfortunately, her grandmother is beginning to forget things. Lulu is covering for her because Gram is the one person Lulu knows she can rely on and she doesn't want her parents to put Gram into a nursing home. In covering for her Gram, Lulu uncovers a secret. Her Gram is from Russia, not France, which is the story her dad and she had been told. Why had Gram lied about this? Lulu's friends believe Gram might be a sp ...more
The Marvelous Ms. Kaia
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Superb book that was so well written and taught me so many things about the brain. Lulu Carter loves her Grandma more than anything, because her Grandma is the only one who understands her. She had a HSAM memory, which means she remembers everything (photographic memory times 5). However, when her Grandma starts forgetting things, Lulu tries to discover more about her past so she can cure her. Throughout all kinds of plot twists, Lulu learns that something’s can’t be cured, and her Grandma’s lif ...more
Emily Avery
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! When I first opened this book I didn’t think I’d love it. It started with a little science about the brain and memory, but it quickly became a page-turner. I wanted to know the secrets of Lulu’s gram and was taken in by the bond of family love.
My children had a grandfather who developed Alzheimer’s (my husbands father) so it was an emotional book for me also. I cried sad and happy tears. It was a great book about friendship and family. 💛📚
Angie Quantrell
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter-books
I learned so much about the brain in this book! Don't let that make you feel like this is a text book. Not at all. But I loved how each chapter started with the name of a part of the brain and how it works. This tidbit then tied in to the chapter and what was going on with Gram, Lulu, her friends, and family. The Memory Keeper is a great book to read, full of mystery, intrigue, secrets, Alzheimer's, and special brains. Oh so many more wonderful details, but you will have to read it to discover t ...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The brain and memory are intertwined in this story because the main character, Lulu, has HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory), while at the same time, her beloved grandmother is gradually losing her memories. Lulu believes that delving into her grandmother's past, she can uncover a traumatic event her grandmother experienced and use it to halt the loss of memory.

I loved how each chapter described a part of the brain and tied its function to the plot and emotions at hand in the story.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are many books about tweens dealing with a grandparent's memory loss or the beginnings of Alzheimer's/Dementia. This one is set apart in two ways. First, Lulu herself has an issue with her memory, though it is quite the opposite. She has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) which means she can remember every minute of every day of her life with complete accuracy. Second, her grandmother has some deep mystery from her past that is beginning to surface as her memory declines. With ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Camiccia's debut novel, THE MEMORY KEEPER, is both a heartfelt, important story about memory and family as well as an engaging mystery. Teachers will love the easy tie-ins to STEM lessons about the brain, Russian history, and an assortment of other topics. Readers of all ages will love the protagonist and her friends, and will be immediately caught up in their detective work. Pairing a story about a grandmother with Alzheimer's and a granddaughter with HSAM is incredibly clever. Camiccia has wri ...more
Nikki Barthelmess
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This engaging MG debut by Jennifer Camiccia centers around the relationship between Lulu, who has the kind of memory that makes her able to remember everything that's ever happened to her, and her grandmother, who Lulu fears is slipping away as she loses her memory. To help bring Gram's memory back, Lulu and her friends try to uncover her grandmother's secrets about a life they never knew she had. Surprising, tender, and funny, this story will be one readers remember for a long time after turnin ...more
Dana Middleton
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advanced copy of THE MEMORY KEEPER by Jennifer Camiccia, and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. The book is about the brain and memory on the surface, but it's really about keeping the connection to those we love. As Lulu's devoted gram loses her memory, Lulu delves into her grandmother's past and discovers that things aren't what they seem. Completely absorbing. Highly recommend. ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read that would be great for middle grades. The cover looks like it could be for younger readers, but the vocabulary and certain Siri actions would be more suited to older readers. The story was touching, and I really loved the connection Lulu had with her grandmother. There’s a great lesson about communication in this book.
Laura Namey
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this poignant, emotional mg debut. The front matter bits about the brain worked perfectly with the story and the mystery unfolded in a meaningful way. Rich characters, wonderful lessons, and spectacular prose— a win!
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! Every chapter explains a part of our brain while focusing on a deeply emotional story of family stories and secrets to uncover. This was fabulously written. I can't wait to share it with my middle school students! ...more
Melissa Gardner
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sweet story about a girl who can remember everything and her beloved grandmother who is slowing beginning to forget. LuLu is determined to find the traumatic even in her grandmother’s past that she believes holds the key to her grandmother’s memory.
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