PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) --A Pearland student is getting high praise for his very special talent -- his ability to memorize large amounts of information.
From the ex-presidents to the periodic table, Elijah Bonow, 11, can recall it all, backwards and forwards.
"I just work on it a lot," said Bonow. "It's all God-given."
Elijah said his gift came to him when he was only five years old. He was in a church production and was able to memorize more than a dozen Bible verses. And it didn't stop there.
"They're just like sponges," said Elijah's father Matthew. "I think we underestimate what children are doing until we put them to the task and expect them to perform to a higher level. They will rise to it."
Earlier this month, Elijah was chosen to compete in a national memory competition on board a cruise that was bound for the Bahamas. He was put to the test.
"It was pretty strenuous," said Elijah.
Weeks before the competition, he had to memorize thousands of facts, including a timeline of history from creation to modern America.
"It was combining academics with public speaking, and personality and the memorization. All under pressure," said Elijah's mother Tiffany.
Elijah breezed through the first round. The second round was more challenging, a double elimination. He was almost at the finals when he got cut.
"Man, we had so much fun. It was a blast. It was great meeting people from all across the nation," said Matthew.
Elijah was still a winner. He had a chance to make new memories on the beach in paradise, soaking in some real geography.
Back home, his brothers and sister still proud of him and inspired.
"I can look at something and memorize it, but then the next day, you couldn't ask me and then I would know it immediately. I would have to actually go through a more tedious process to have it in my long-term memory," said Elijah.