Evelyn Del Ray Is Moving Away

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evelyn del ray is moving away

From Newbery Medalist Meg Medina comes the bittersweet story of two girls who will always be each other’s número uno, even though one is moving away.

A big truck with its mouth wide open is parked at the curb, ready to gobble up Evelyn’s mirror with the stickers around the edge . . . and the sofa that we bounce on to get to the moon.

Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today—not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special. The tenderness of Meg Medina’s beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez’s colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls’ urban neighborhood.---from the publisher

32 pages                        978-1536207040                   Ages 5-8

Keywords:  friends, friendship, moving, feelings, change, Latina author, diversity, diverse books, Latina, Latinx, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old

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Whenever this world is cruel to me

I’ve got you to help me forgive”

-- Queen, “You’re My Best Friend” (1975)

“A  big truck with its mouth wide open is parked at the curb, ready to gobble up Evelyn’s mirror with the stickers around the edge, her easel for painting on rainy days, and the sofa that we bounce on to get to the moon.”

“British researcher Roger Webb and his colleagues took advantage of an amazingly complete data set -- containing records on literally every single person born in Denmark between 1971 and 1997 -- to investigate how moving in childhood affected outcomes later in life.

They focused on a number of negative outcomes including suicide attempts, criminality, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse, and unnatural mortality. Moving during childhood was linked to increased incidence of all these negative outcomes later in life. Moving multiple times in a single year made long-term harms even more likely.

And the group of youngsters most likely to feel the ill effects of moving are kids in early adolescence, between 12 and 14. A child who goes through a residential move at age 14 has double the risk of suicide by middle age.”

-- The Washington Post, “Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult” (6/13/16)

I did a little digging on this topic, because we learn in early childhood education classes, and in practice, that transitions are the most difficult times for young children.

The bottom line is that changing residences is a big deal for kids. We shouldn’t expect them to just suck it up, even if they’re not the ones doing the packing, cleaning, and lifting heavy boxes.

EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY is an outstanding picture book narrated by, and featuring the young girl left behind as her best friend moves away.

The two young girls live in adjoining apartment buildings. I particularly appreciate a cute spread in which the girls have rigged up a string between their respective bedroom windows and are ferrying a doll back and forth in a small wicker basket.

When the big day arrives, the friends go through their antics one more time. They also get photos of the two of them together, and make plans to talk on the phone, have sleepovers, and make summer visits. Their supportive moms recognize the significance of the moment, as well they should.

“Evelyn Del Rey is moving away. So she won’t be right here anymore.”

The book’s images are filled with expressive depictions of the girls, who are feeling emotional. This story will provide young children with understanding of, and preparation for moving away or having a dear friend moving away. Given the potential impact of such moves, this is a must-have for preschool and early elementary collections.

Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

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