The Book of Mem
Written By Jody Walker
Illustrated by Shannon Benson
What if humans could see auras, could sense the colorful rays that extend out from everything all the time? And what if some of the newly born children of the earth could speak through touch? The critters of Little Meadow have not seen humans for many years, but one day that all changes.
Old Oak holds the story together in a way only an oak tree can. And what a story! A secret escapes and a rock launches virtual reality, showering the critters at Little Meadow with wonder as well as concern. In this future world a young girl is able to transmit and receive messages through touch. Her brother has powers of his own and he is learning to use them. Connect these new humans to an old deserted campground and your passage to a new earth begins. Join us!
Questions and Thoughts for discussion
The Book of Mem takes place sometime in the future. What were some of the things in the story that would hint to that fact? Would the illustrations also cause you to see the story as science fiction as well as a fantasy? Which ones come to mind?
In Book I (page 18) the animals at Little Meadow had their first ever argument. What were they fighting about? How did it make them feel? How was the problem solved?
In the “Circle of Light” there were five animals, a bear, a fox, a deer, a snake and a porcupine. As you pictured these creatures in your mind, which one was your favorite and why?
When these animals formed their special circle and began chanting, they seemed to have magical powers, and could send lots of unwanted “human” stuff to the cave for safe keeping. If you could have those same powers, what stuff would you like to locate to a different place? Why?
How did the ducklings react the first time they heard Mem speak? Try and make up a sentence and say it the way Mem would have to. See if someone else could guess what you’re trying to say. Keep it simple. Mem spoke very slowly with a deep voice.
When the plants and animals finally saw the human family, they felt completely safe. In the story it is explained that the human auras were so bright and clear and that was how they knew the humans wouldn’t hurt them. Do animals in real life somehow know things about people. I wonder if plants and animals can see our auras.
When the human family comes to Little Meadow their vehicle was much quieter than any vehicle known to Old Tree. Why was the new transport so unusual? Can you design a science fiction car or transport?
Why did Kendall use sign language? Do you know any words using sign?
Why did Evan change his mind about wanting to learn sign language?
Kendall wasn’t the only child who couldn’t use her vocal chords. I wonder if the others like her also had her special power of touch. If you could communicate through touch, you’d be able to speak to plants and animals as well as humans. How would that change the way you thought of the earth?
Evan loved to draw and paint but he also had a kind, understanding heart and seemed so wise. Would you like to have a friend like him? Why?
Would you like to have Kendall as a friend? What activities would you want to do together?
The animals refer to the fact that they hadn’t seen humans since all the bad storms and weather changes. Lots of people, including Evan, suffered from asthma and they had good and bad days regarding air quality. Do you know anyone with asthma? What are some things that can make the air bad to breathe?
Did you notice any differences between the new humans in the “Book of Mem” and the way we live today?
Can you make up a story that takes place 50 years from now? Show at least five things in your adventure that might be unknown to us today.
Draw a picture of your favorite animal in the story and share with a friend.
Which story probably took place first? (a. The one about the animals who find a book and decide to place it in the cave.) or (b. The one about Evan and Kendall being raised sometime in the future and getting to go camping) There’s a clue on page 55.
On page 54, it says that Mom seemed to understand completely when Kendall signed that she and the oak tree were talking to each other using touch. Why do you think Mom stayed so calm?
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