The book that I choose to read this 9 week period is called Memory by Will Weaver. The book is based on the lives of a family of 4 people; Miles, Sarah, and their two parents. Memory Boy starts out in the Mid West after a mountain range in Washington erupts and spews ash what seems billions of feet up, and over the entire United Sates like a blanket. The ash is so thick that people have to wear dust masks outside to avoid the risk of breathing it in. Miles and his family finally decide to leave the town that they live in to head northwest.
Since the ash is so heavy they can’t drive a car because those are restricted, and people can only use them on certain days to avoid the problem of pollution. So Miles assembles a new vehicle that he calls the Princess. It is a mix between a bicycle and a boat that they must pilot by either peddling, or when there is enough wind they have a sail from a boat to put up. They decide to leave under the curtain of night to avoid being detected by other people who would want to take their vehicle from them.
As they make their way North they must face encounters with many obstacles such as road blocks, bandits, hunger, the government, nature, each other, and other hazards. In between telling us about they’re adventure north, Miles, who is the main character tells us the events leading up to their departure, starting with the day that the eruption happened. The novel starts out a peaceful journey by the family but they soon learn that their trip will not be easy and they must work together to survive.
Miles is our main character and we watch all the events happen through his point of view. He would be a junior in high school if they still actually went to school. Miles is a smart individual who enjoys doing the job of a mechanic. He built the Princess by himself and is the only one who is about to fix and maintain it throughout the book. He takes a strong leadership role; even his parents look to him to solve the solutions. When the volcano erupted he was only in the 9th grade.
So every other chapter he will flashback to his 9th grade year to tell us a story about after the volcano erupted. He often compares his life now to that of his 9th grade year, and how he would have done things different. He used to be disrespectful and would often act out in school to seek attention. He will explain to us how some of the events he tells us about have changed him. Miles sister Sarah is a few years younger than he is. She is a dark and morbid girl; the type that is into vampire, dark music, and dark literature.
But even though she seems tough on the outside, but she is actually just hiding how scared she has been throughout this entire ordeal. She secretly looks up to miles even though she would never say so to him. She doesn’t like her father very much because he was always away when she was a child. Miles’s father was a jazz musician in a band before the eruption. He was always on the road with his band, so he wasn’t around much when Miles and Sarah were growing up.
Although he seems quite docile at the beginning of the book we soon learn that he is actually quite the leader, and when Miles gets overwhelmed his father is always there to take the lead for awhile. Miles’s mother was the main caretaker of the children so she was always around. At the beginning of the book she kept the family together as a unit, they referred to her as being. The children see their mother as being helpless most of the time. It isn’t until later in the book that she really blooms as a character, and becomes a very useful asset to the group.