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Memory Boy Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Memory Boy
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Revised edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062018140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062018144
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is the year 2008, and volcanic ash is still falling soft and deadly over 16-year-old Miles Newell's hometown of Minneapolis. Ever since the '06 eruption of Washington's Mount Rainier, the entire United States has suffered food and fuel shortages due to the stifling gray ash. In the big cities, chaos and crime are beginning to creep in. Miles, who always hid his mechanical skills and phenomenal memory behind a screen of sarcasm and smart remarks, discovers that now his natural talents just may save the lives of his family. Since fuel is astronomically expensive, he uses his tools to build a vehicle made of bicycle and sailboat parts. The Newell family utilizes this strange apparatus to escape to their summer cottage, braving hostile biker gangs and suspicious police along the way. But a nasty surprise awaits them when they finally reach their destination, and Miles must draw upon his other special gift--his amazingly accurate memory--to find sanctuary for himself and his family in this new, uncertain future.

In an interesting departure from his usual setting of farmyards and baseball fields, (Farm Team, Hard Ball, etc.) young-adult novelist Will Weaver has created an eerie gray landscape where only the resourceful survive. While the adventurous plot of this futuristic Swiss Family Robinson tale will draw in even the most reluctant reader, the novel's greatest strength lies in Weaver's characterization of a smart young man who discovers his worth. Memory Boy is an admirable first foray into a new genre for veteran author Weaver. (Ages 12 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The year is 2008, two years after a massive volcano has wreaked havoc in the United States. The air is polluted with ash, crops keep failing, fuel is scarce and looting is rampant. Sixteen-year-old Miles knows that the only way for his family to survive is to head to their cabin in the Minnesota wilderness. Relying on knowledge passed down to him from an elderly friend, Mr. Kurz, Miles constructs a man-powered vehicle out of bicycles and sailboat parts to transport himself, his parents and younger sister. Suspense builds steadily as the traveling foursome contends with hostile strangers, including road bandits and a sheriff who has allowed his relatives to occupy their cabin. Though it looks like the Newells have reached a dead end, Miles forms another plan. In an imaginative and plausible rendering of a futuristic society, Weaver plants enough familiar details so that readers can relate--including Dairy Queens and McDonald's restaurants (though meals cost 10 times as much), plus Miles's memories of school, suburbia and Mr. Kurz's nursing home. Although danger lurks around every corner, audience members will rest assured that Miles, armed with good instincts and highly developed mechanical skills, will be prepared to combat whatever roadblocks his loved ones meet. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Will Weaver grew up in northern Minnesota on a farm. The landscape of small town life figures strongly in much of his writing. He has gained a national audience for his unflinching realism, and for what one reviewer called ". . . the humanity and decency that runs through all of Weaver's work" ( St. Paul Pioneer Press).

His short story collection A GRAVESTONE MADE OF WHEAT was a New York Times "notable book." His books have been adapted for radio, stage and film. SWEET LAND, the feature film adaptation of his story "Gravestone Made of Wheat", starring Ned Beatty, premiered in October of 2006. SWEET LAND is also the title of his collection of short stories, which includes the film-inspiring story.

A recent new direction is a memoir, THE LAST HUNTER: AN AMERICAN FAMILY ALBUM, a closely described look at the arc of his family from tiny, immigrant homestead farm in North Dakota to post-modern America.

Weaver is also known for his young adult fiction. MEMORY BOY, a post-apocalyptic novel based on environmental collapse, is widely used in junior and senior high schools across the United States. THE SURVIVORS, just out from HarperCollins, is the long-awaited sequel, and received a "Starred" review from Kirkus.

Other young adult novels include CLAWS, set in northeastern Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and featuring outdoor survival with a strong family back-story. FULL SERVICE won starred reviews from Kirkus and Horn Books for its focus on a young man struggling with matters of religious faith and doubt. DEFECT is a novel about a teenager born with a miraculous birth abnormality, and his struggle to fit in (or not). His STRIKING OUT, FARM TEAM and HARD BALL baseball series for young adults has a lasting place in school libraries across the country.

As an author, Mr. Weaver is particularly concerned with youth literacy, and young men in particular. His Motornovel Series includes SATURDAY NIGHT DIRT and its sequel, SUPER STOCK ROOKIE (2009), which focus on dirt track stock car racing. The series starts with a small town speedway and a diverse cast characters who come there, for different reasons, every Saturday night. CHECKERED FLAG CHEATER is the third in this popular series. Reviewed on "Good Morning America," the Motornovels were described as "great teen reads, and not just for boys."

An avid outdoorsman and popular public speaker, Will Weaver lives with his wife on the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

It is a quick, exciting, thought-provoking read.
Cheryl Stout
Miles is an important asset to his family and they rely on him throughout the book.
Lynyel Duggins
I would highly recommend this novel to anyone over the age of 13.
Rachel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lynyel Duggins on May 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Close your eyes and picture this--the year 2008, fuel and food have been rationed, volcanic ash has been falling for three years and the large cities contain nothing, but chaos. Miles Newell, a sixteen year old boy, has invented a contraption that will get himself and his family out of the big city (Minneapolis) and safely to their country cottage. Miles is an important asset to his family and they rely on him throughout the book. Throughout their trip, Miles remembers his oral history presentation he had to complete for school--his class had to "buddy" up with an elderly person for this project at the local nursing home. Miles, nor his "buddy" were too happy about this, but they made it work! In fact, having this "buddy" at the nursing home would really help Miles and his family to their safe destination.
This books setting switches back and forth between the family and their journey-- to Miles and his "buddy" at the Buena Vista nursing home. I believe this book would appeal to boys more than girls because the main character is an inventor of many different "toys." I would recommend this book to any middle school or high school student--it is comical in parts and has a good message!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think that Will Weaver did a five star job on this book.
It starts out that Miles likes to invent things. In the small town that Miles and his family live there was a volcano that has been going on for a long time and the land is covered in ashes and gas prices are high. So Miles invents a car that does not take gas. Using the family bikes. They dicide to head for there cabin so nowone can find them. But they have some problems on the way with different people in different towns.
But when they get there they find that there cabin has been taken over. Now go get this book to find out what happens.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "libraryjessica" on May 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Memory Boy should appeal to almost any reader. Weaver wrote many genres all into one thrilling, suspenseful story. Miles Newell's ingenuity saves his family time and again. His sister is the typical angst teen, with the hair cut and attitude to go with it. Mr. & Mrs. Newell are mostly self-centered, career driven, pedestal-speaking parents, who rely on Miles to keep them together.
I can't wait to read other books by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derrick on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading this book. The plot line was good, there was some suspense at times, and it was just overall pretty captivating.
That's all the good about it.
Bad:
1) There are times in this book where the writing technique is downright poor. There were short, choppy sentences, and what made it worse was many began with "I". Like...I did this. I did this. I felt like this. I then did this.
2) At the beginning of the book, Weaver alternated between past and present in his chapters. I enjoyed the present; the past I found immensely boring. And then he just drops it halfway through.
3) Many of the decisions the characters make are just...stupid. Like, traveling eighty miles north on limited resources to a cabin that they don't even know exists because...they have nothing better to do? Honestly? That's the best you can come up with?
And leaving a really nice home to go live in a cabin in the woods where you will have to live off the land...no. Just, no. You guys have lived in the city all your lives, with money coming out of your ears. I hope you packed some Man vs. Wild DVD's and an extra pair of panties, Miles, because Mother Nature isn't that forgiving.
More terrible descisions include going to a lake alone with a biker you've known for 12 hours that has been in jail and told you to get off his property or get shot to ask for a gun, and then sending your younger sister alone with that same family...and that isn't it either.
4) So the Cascade range explodes. That's nearly impossible to begin with, but I'll let it slide. But would this affect the entire world? Definitely not. So why doesn't this very, VERY rich family just...move somewhere else? Like Boston! Boston is is nice!
Pretty disappointed, to say the least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I connected to this book on a very personal level. I believe that most teens between the ages of 14 and 16 will benefit from reading this story. The characters are believable and are well portrayed. I especially liked how most teens could relate to the family's issues. I know that people my age are going through difficult times, and feel they may need to take more responsibility for there parents. This is exactly what Miles; the main character in the novel had to deal with. He had to become more responsible than his own parents. From finish to start I was entirely engaged in the author's writing. This book is most definitely a page turner and kept me guessing all the way through. I quite enjoyed it and I imagine most teens would, male or female.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Memory Boy

By Will Weaver

The Summary of my book is that families can last together through tough times. Like when someone dies you can help them through that or if someone loses there house or something special to them you can help them through that. Also that peoples belongings can be someone else's treasures. Like when someone passes away and when they leave something behind it can help someone else out or it can just be there for them to treasure. I think that helping people through tough times is very important thing to do for another person.

Miles and Sarah is the main character in the book. He is nice to older people. When Miles go to the nursing home with his class and has to spend time with Mr. Kurz. Him and Mr. Kurz become good friends. Mr. Kurz tells Miles many stories about his past and tells him a lot about himself. Miles sometimes is rude to his teachers. He says smart comebacks to his teachers. His nice to his parents. He loves his sister but, sometimes is mean to her. Miles is into building things. I can not really describe Miles personality. But, overall Miles is a good kid. Another main character is Sarah. Sarah is a smart girl. She is beautiful. She is a cunning girl. She likes the simple things in life . She is likes books more than sports. She would rather read then play a sport. Sarah is a really good kid.

I think Memory is a good book. I think that it tells kids about how families can stay strong together through rough times. I think it tells kids to go for things you believe in and not give up till you reach your destiny. This book is a really good book and you should read it.
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