Parents' Guide to

The Memory Thief: Thirteen Witches, Book 1

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Ghostly series start celebrates friends, storytelling.

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Kids say (1):

There's a lot going on in the first installment of Jodi Lynn Anderson's trilogy of cosmic conflict, hidden worlds, evil witches,dark forces, brave souls like its 11-year-old narrator -- and ghosts. Lots and lots of ghosts, some scary, some kind. And amid all this, relatable middle-grade anguish as best friends grow and change, and family pain as Rosie's mom is emotionally zombie-like. Sometimes it all comes together uneasily in The Memory Thief, a bit of a cosmological pile-on with details (like that witches can't be killed) often revealed just in time to advance or complicate the plot. But amid all that are a lot of heart, depth, and moments of brilliant writing that embody the life-changing miracle of storytelling.

"On the first day of kindergarten, Germ laid herself at the foot of our classroom door, screaming for her mom. All the other kids steered clear of her -- I guess because of the banshee-like wailing. I knew what it was like to miss someone, even though for me it was someone right there. So I sat beside the wild-eyed, wild-haired stranger and awkwardly patted her back and told her a story I made up on the spot about a bat who ate ugly old mosquitoes and burped out stars instead. By the end of the story, Germ had stopped crying and I'd won a friend for life."

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