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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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Summary: "The Memory String" tells the story of a young girl, Laura, who lost her mother years earlier and is now living with her father and stepmother. Laura keeps a "memory string" that was passed down in her family to her mother then to her. The memory string is full of buttons from special outfits that a family member had wore, such as, her mother's prom dress and her dad's military uniform. However, one day she was explaining the string and each button to her cat when her cat broke the string and all the buttons fell into the grass. Laura's father and stepmother helped her find all the buttons but her father's button from his military uniform. That night, Laura heard her stepmother tell her father that replacing the missing button with a replacement was not right and she felt like her stepmother understood her. Laura's father and stepmother ended up finding the button and the next day, she made a step to opening up to her stepmother by asking her to help string the buttons together.

Review: In my opinion, the central message of this book is that when you lose someone, a new person will not become a substitute but rather another addition to your life. In the story, Laura did not accept her stepmother because she married her dad and she missed her mom. However, once she heard how her stepmother knew that the missing button is better off missing than replacing it with another, she felt like her stepmother understood the situation with her losing her mother. After this, she realized that her stepmother is not a replacement for her mother which allowed her to accept her stepmother. Also, I liked how the missing button served as a metaphor for her losing her mother. ( )
  rjones34 | Sep 16, 2014 |
On a string are buttons from her mothers clothing who passed away. The little girl wears it as a necklace to remember her mother.
  cabram90 | Jun 24, 2014 |
Each button on the memory string represents a piece of her family history
  LindseyGreenlaw | Mar 22, 2014 |
Laura's mother dies three years ago. Instead of writing in a journal she saved a button from each of the pieces of clothing that were worn at important moments. One day Laura is playing with it, by her dog. He gets caught on it and all the beads and buttons scatter it. Jane, her step mother, her dad and her look for them. They find them all except one, which Jane finds that night. Laura warms to Jane.
Ages: 3-8
Source: Pierce College Library
  RachelHollingsworth | Feb 1, 2014 |
This book is really unique and I really liked it. It tells of a girl who saved buttons from her mom's clothes and made a necklace out of them. I think it'd be really fun to do an activity with students after reading this book! ( )
  TBegum1 | Nov 27, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:14 -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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