Excerpt from The Memory Book by Lara Avery, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Memory Book

by Lara Avery

The Memory Book by Lara Avery X
The Memory Book by Lara Avery
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2016, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
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About this Book

Print Excerpt


I will try to reconstruct the scene:

White walls covered in old MILK: IT DOES A BODY GOOD posters, left over from the last guidance counselor because Mrs. Townsend has been so busy since she started five years ago, she hasn't had the chance to replace them. Me, on a carpeted block that was supposed to be a cool, modern version of a chair but is really just a block. Across from me, Mrs. Townsend, in a yellow sweater, her hair jetting out in thick black curls.

I was asking her to get me a twenty-four-hour extension on the Poisonwood Bible paper.

Mrs. T: Why do you need an extension?

Me: I've got a thing.

Mrs. T (staring at her computer screen, clicking): What thing?

Me: Google "Niemann-Pick Type C." Mrs. Townsend types, and begins to read.

Mrs. T (muttering): What?

I watched her eyes move. Right, left, right, left, across the screen. I remember that.

Me: It's very rare.

Mrs. T: What is it, Neeber Pickens? Is this a joke?

I had to laugh in spite of her face scrunching up, still reading.

Me: Niemann-Pick Type C. Basically, it's dementia.

Mrs. Townsend takes her eyes off the computer, her mouth hanging open.

Mrs. T: When were you diagnosed with this?

Me: Two months ago, initially. It's been a back-and-forth process to confirm. But yeah, I have it for sure.

Mrs. T: You're going to have memory loss? And hallucinations? What happened?

Me: Genetics. My great-aunt died of it when she was much younger than I am now.

Mrs. T: Died?

Me: It's common among French Canadians, and my mom's originally French Canadian, so...

Mrs. T: Excuse me, died?

Me: I'm not going to die.

I don't think she heard the part about me not dying, which is probably for the best, because at this point it is a statement I can neither confirm nor deny.

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Excerpted from The Memory Book by Lara Avery. Copyright © 2016 by Lara Avery. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Beyond the Book:
  Niemann-Pick Type C

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