The first of this summer’s two Teen Craft Programs is this Saturday in the Bondurant Room at 2 p.m. — just in time for Father’s Day. Teens will be provided scraps of denim and other supplies to decorate a pencil cup perfect for keeping or giving away. There will be refreshments, too. Just make sure to arrive early for a numbered ticket. Making use of recycled items is part of the “Building a Better World” theme of the Summer Reading Program. It’s open to all ages and there’s still plenty of time to sign up. For more information, visit 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave. or call 575-622-7101.
Book Talk by Debra Thomas
Tech Services Supervisor
“The One Memory of Flora Banks” by Emily Barr. Chapter One — “I look at my hand. Party, it tells me, in thick black letters.” Flora stands hesitantly amidst the throng of bodies, looking at her hand, comparing her clothes to the jeans-clad teenagers gyrating to music, and wishes she had a pen so she could write the words, “I am older than I think I am.” Seventeen, not 10, the age her memories no longer expanded. If not for the words she writes on her arms and hands, she would not remember who, what, where or when. If not for the reminders tattooing her skin, she would be lost, her mind betraying her at every step.
At age 10, doctors supposedly removed a large tumor growing in her brain, leaving her with anterograde amnesia, resulting in the inability to make new memories. She mostly remembers her family and her best friend, Paige, from before the surgery. It is this best friend’s boyfriend, Drake, who sets in motion a lasting memory of now for Flora.
Finding her on the beach, avoiding the going-away party that was thrown for him, he tells her that he and Paige broke up, kisses her and asks her to spend the night with him. He knows she will not remember any of this, even though she says she cannot go with him. Such an easy, selfish thing where he is concerned, and such a heart-rending thing to do to Flora Banks. Because she will love him forever for making her feel this moment of normal.
Reaching home that night, all details of this encounter go in her secret journal, with a sticky note reminding her to read it. But for the first time since she got sick, she can remember this moment she fell in love, and it gives her hope that if she can remember this one thing, she can remember others.
Things go wrong, as they inevitably do, and her best friend confronts her with accusations of betrayal, which Flora cannot deny. Flora discovers new strengths in herself, sustained with the belief that this boy who kissed her, then left for the Arctic, can and will be found. She discovers new ways to cope with her lack of memory, and with the words “be brave” inked into her skin, she sets out on a journey to Svalbard, Norway, with her heart set front and center in her quest to find the boy she loves.
Author Emily Barr writes an emotionally riveting young-adult book about the ways in which we need to allow each other the freedom to make our own mistakes, follow our own dreams and live our own very individual lives.
Amanda Davis is a reference librarian at the Roswell Public Library. She can be contacted at A.Davis@roswell-nm.gov.