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The Memory String by Eve Bunting

The Memory String

by Eve Bunting

Other authors: Ted Rand (Illustrator)

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In this book, Laura, who lost her mother and recently gained a step mother sits down and tells her cat the stories associated with each button/bead on her memory string that she got from her mother. The cat jumps and breaks the string and the beads go all over the yard. Laura, her dad, and her step-mother find all but one. At night, Laura overhears her dad and step-mother's conversation and sees that they try to find the bead at night. Laura also overhears something from her step-mother that makes her think about how she should treat her. The next day, Laura sees the last bead on the porch and begins to open up to her step-mother more.
This book is a good example of realistic fiction because it is something that could really happen. A young child who lost their mother could really have a thing to remember their mother by and they could also be having a hard time accepting their new step-mother.
Media: Watercolor
Age Appropriateness: Intermediate
  khofer15 | Feb 23, 2017 |
In this story, young Laura looks over her memory string, which has been in her family for generations and contains buttons that each hold a special memory. Still upset over her dad's decision to re-marry after her mothers death, Laura recounts the meanings of the various buttons so her step-mother can hear. However, the string breaks, sending buttons flying all over the yard. Much to her surprise, her step-mother stays up late into the night making sure every last button is found.
This picture book is a great example of realistic fiction because all of the events of the story could easily happen in the real world. Additionally, it deals with contemporary issues, such as how to handle having a blended family.
1. One way to utilize this book would be to read it aloud or have it available during a unit on families because it depicts a family outside of the traditional nuclear one. This book does a good job of demonstrating the fact that just because someone is not related to you or is "new" to the family does not mean that they cannot love you.
2. Another good way to incorporate this book into the classroom would be as a free-write prompt regarding legacy and meaning. After reading this, the students could have time to free-write about an object that is special to theme and carries lots of memories.
Age Appropriateness: Primary, Intermediate, Middle School
Media: Watercolor ( )
  rstewart15 | Feb 21, 2017 |
This book could be used as an interactive read-aloud for 2nd through 3rd to teach students about characters. Students could compare and contrast the different characters and their emotions and how they feel about the bracelet. I would have students make their own venn diagram to list the differences of the characters and see if they have anything in common.
  mmccrady01 | Feb 15, 2017 |
This book could be used in a classroom to teach about characters. It is a relatively long picture book so it could be used as an interactive read aloud in a 3rd-grade class. After the read aloud students would be asked to reflect on the characters. They would write a short paragraph about each one and explain how their feelings influenced their decisions in the story told. We would discuss their answers as a class and further reflect on emotions of characters and how they influence a story.
  TimGordon | Feb 15, 2017 |
I would use this in grades 2nd &3rd as an interactive read aloud because it would fit the standard that states that they should be able to describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges, such as the girl losing her mom and having her bracelet break. It would also allow them to compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story, which could be comparing the girl's point of view, as well as the step mom's point f view. I would use this as a read aloud to discuss the importance of special items the students may have and allow each student to bring in their most valuable object. This would also be a good example to allow students to use foreshadowing and write down what they think may happen in the end and why. This story could also illustrate what emotions they feel the character has and why they think she feels this way and if they can relate to a time when they felt similar to this by comparing and contrasting the two characters. ( )
  kbellot | Jan 22, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rand, TedIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395861462, Hardcover)

Each button on Laura’s memory string represents a piece of her family history. The buttons Laura cherishes the most belonged to her mother—a button from her prom dress, a white one off her wedding dress, and a single small button from the nightgown she was wearing on the day she died. When the string breaks, Laura’s new stepmother, Jane, is there to comfort Laura and search for a missing button, just as Laura’s mother would have done. But it’s not the same—Jane isn’t Mom. In Eve Bunting’s moving story, beautifully illustrated by Ted Rand, Laura discovers that a memory string is not just for remembering the past: it’s also for recording new memories.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:06 -0400)

While still grieving for her mother and unable to accept her stepmother, a girl clings to the memories represented by forty-three buttons on a string.

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