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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 has a bracelet with important beads from her family. It was her moms but she got it after she died three years ago. After the bracelet broke her dad and step mom try and help her find all the piece.
Uses: Family, Memories, Death in the family
  ShayleeHutchison | Nov 21, 2016 |
A brief summary:
Laura sits under an oak tree in her backyard, admiring her memory string, a family heirloom that holds a piece of family history in each of its unique buttons. As Laura is explaining the significance of each button to her cat Whiskers, Whiskers becomes upset and breaks the memory string and all of the buttons scatter across the lawn. Laura's father and her step mother Jane are quick to help Laura find each button, except they are unable to find just one. That night when Laura goes to her room, Jane and Laura's father continue to hunt for the missing button. Jane finds the button and places it on the porch for Laura to find in the morning. When she does, she begins to lighten up toward her stepmother and see how she doesn't want to rewrite Jane's life and replace her mother, but rather wants to be a new part of it.

My personal reaction:
I think this is a very powerful book that teaches specifically about the challenge of moving on after losing a parent while teaching about adjusting to new circumstances in general. I love how the book begins with Laura having negative feelings about her new step mother but ends with a new understanding of how her stepmother isn't trying to replace her mother, but loves her dearly and wants to be a part of her life in a special way.

A couple of uses:
- I would use this book as a mentor text to demonstrate inferring as a reading strategy.
- I would read this book aloud to the class after asking the question, "Can you think of a time when you had trouble making room for something in your life?". After reading the book and discussing it as a class, I would have students respond to the book by writing about a time where they had difficulting adjusting to something new and how they eventually did or where they are currently in the situation.

Realistic Fiction

  Lucymae | Nov 18, 2016 |
“The Memory String,” is a sweet story about a girl named Laura and how her relationship with her stepmother, Jane, starts out rocky but ends really well. Laura has a memory string that was passed down for generations until Laura’s mother gave it to her before she died. While Laura’s father and stepmother paint the porch, Laura sits on the grass, explaining where each thing on the string came from. She made sure to say it loudly, that way Jane will hear about her talk about her mother who passed away. But while Laura was telling her cat about the memory string, her cat jumped and broke the string, leaving all of the memories go all over the lawn. Laura, her father, and stepmother all try to find the missing pieces, but unfortunately they could not find one. Devastated, Laura’s father said they’d look for it in the morning. As Laura eased dropped on her father and Jane’s conversation, she heard how Jane refused the idea about replaying the missing button that Laura’s father had suggested. Laura heard how Jane said that it was irreplaceable to Laura, just like her mother. Hearing how sincere Jane was Laura decided to change her views towards Jane, and worked for a better relationship. I think this book would be good to read to students because it can be very relatable for anyone who has a step parent, regardless of the circumstance. This is a good book about giving people chances, and not judging someone harshly, or hating them even due to something you can’t control. ( )
  NihadKased | Oct 17, 2016 |
While remembering her mother after her death, and unable to accept her stepmother, so she clings to her memories represented by the 43 buttons on a string.
  SerenityShaw | Jun 8, 2016 |
In my opinion, this is a good book because it connects to the reader’s emotions. Laura cherishes a string of buttons because each button holds a piece of her family history. However, when her cat gets ahold of this string, the buttons become lost and scattered around the yard outside. With the help of her father and new step-mother, who eve is not fond of for replacing her mother, she find all but the button on her father’s old uniform. It’s her stepmother Jane who continuously searches and finds the button for Laura though which helps Laura begin to accept Jane. Readers can connect through the experience of losing a prized possession and how it made them feel, such as upset and worried that item would not be found just like Laura did. Readers can also connect to experiencing change in their lives and the emotions involved. Laura did not want to accept Jane as her stepmother because she believed Jane could never replace her real mother. The reader does not have to go through the same situation to connect to Laura. This connection can be made through an experience with change, such as moving and leaving old friends behind to starting a new job. Just because something new is occurring in life doesn’t mean the past has to be forgotten. ( )
  kkamin5 | Mar 20, 2016 |
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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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