Entertaining and heart-warming – ‘The Memory Shed’

thememoryshedI got drawn into this book by the awesome idea of a sinister garden shed. I admit, I don’t like delving into the depths of my rickety back shed (hello red-back spider, and <hooly dooly> what made that scuttling noise?) but I always love discovering long-forgotten things.

I wasn’t disappointed by the read. In fact, it pleasantly over-achieved! ‘The Memory Shed’ by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, illustrated by Craig Smith, was a delightful read. It is beautiful, well-written and give-yourself-a-hug warm.

The stats…

  • Junior Fiction
  • 5 chapters
  • 55 pages
  • About 2,500 words
  • Chapter 1 – intro to characters (including shed!) and inciting event (going to clean shed out)
  • Chapter 2 – trepidatious entry into shed to start clean
  • Chapters 3-4 – fun and memories
  • Chapter 5 – realisation and happy finish.

What did I love?

  • Grandma!  Mate, she was an awesome supporting character. Vivid, fun, joyful, balanced. When she hopped on that bike… yeeha! I absolutely dig Grandma.
  • The start!  What a great first chapter. Because when it’s stormy and dark and the power’s out, what you really don’t need is a shed that can move. And read your thoughts while it’s at it. There was no way I was putting the book down after that start.
  • The diversity! I love diversity where it’s a natural part of the story, rather than awkwardly forced down your throat for the sake of ticking a box. This book was awesome for that. It is gently educating as it whole-heartedly entertains.
  • The twist! If you’re afraid of spoilers (and a general warning I put them everywhere) don’t read this bit. But I loved how the spooky start turned into a heart-warming end. As in, the shed is another fave character for me. I just want to give it a hug.

This last point has the bonus of meaning your kids aren’t terrified of sheds after reading the book. As a parent, I think authors should always consider how their book is going to leave young children. (Shed-phobia isn’t on my list of must-haves…)

A lovely read, made even better by the awesome illustrations.

 

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