Evelyn del Rey Is Moving Away

by Meg Medina (Author) Sonia Sanchez (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

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.


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School Library Journal

K-Gr 4--Daniela goes over to her friend Evelyn's apartment to play just as they do every day, because she is her "mejor amiga." They play games, just like always, and laugh, just like always; but the more Daniela talks about their games, the more she alludes to the fact that Evelyn is moving. When Evelyn and Daniela say goodbye, they learn about how to remain friends, even if moving hurts right now. Medina has created a wonderfully true tale of the happiness that best friends share and the complicated emotions that are faced when that best friend must move away. The story is simple and easy to understand, even for nonspeakers of Spanish, as both illustrations and context help with translation. Sánchez's illustrations give life to the world these two best friends live in, while also revealing details about the move. The raw emotions that Daniela and Evelyn experience come through in the drawings. VERDICT Medina and Sánchez have created a winning emotional story about two best friends who will always be best friends, regardless of all kinds of upheaval.--Margaret Kennelly, iSchool at Urbana-Champaign

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Friends Daniela and Evelyn play while movers pack Evelyn's family's belongings. Narrating in Daniela's voice, Newbery Medalist Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears) tells readers about Evelyn: "my mejor amiga, my número uno best friend." The two spend almost every day together; today, their last, is no different: "Come play, Daniela," Evelyn calls. Digital artwork by Sánchez (Raisins and Almonds) radiates warmth and specificity as the girls interact with neighbors ("We sneak past grouchy Mr. Miller's door and wave to Mr. Soo") and revel in their last moments in homes whose windows face one another ("Our apartments are almost twins, just like us"). Art reveals their easy transitions in and out of make-believe as they play bus with an empty box--exuberant Evelyn leans out the back, while Daniela, the driver, looks behind her with furrowed eyebrows. Soon it's time to say goodbye; they put stickers on each other's cheeks to seal a promise of ongoing friendship, "and then Evelyn hugs me hard." Landing on the moment of their parting grief adds poignancy to their vibrant connection, and a final page turn offers further joy to this portrait of two girls of color and their strong, resilient friendship. Ages 5-7. (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Newbery Medalist Medina's versatility is in evidence here, showing she's as much in tune with the picture-book audience as she is with older readers. With lines that go at angles and splashes of bold colors and patterns, Sánchez's artwork is as lively and full of movement as the two girls. Layered applications of color create texture, and the interiors of their apartments are cozily beckoning. A tender story of friendship and change.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Digital artwork by Sánchez (Raisins and Almonds) radiates warmth and specificity as the girls interact with neighbors ("We sneak past grouchy Mr. Miller's door and wave to Mr. Soo") and revel in their last moments in homes whose windows face one another...Landing on the moment of their parting grief adds poignancy to their vibrant connection, and a final page turn offers further joy to this portrait of two girls of color and their strong, resilient friendship.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Daniela's first-person, present-tense narration balances action and introspection, while in the illustrations the small, expressive figures of the two girls seem barely able to contain the deeply felt emotions, familiar to many children, that accompany loss and change. Sánchez's illustrations layer colorful patterns and textures with filigreed lines and corrugated cardboard collage; bright yellow beech leaves litter the girls' urban neighborhood, suggesting a season of transition. The final image of an older Daniela, seated on the floor of her room surrounded by letters from Evelyn, assures readers that, no matter what, you never forget your first "mejor amiga."
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Newbery Medalist Meg Medina writes in the earnest and playful voice of a child, using uncomplicated words and a tone that's equal parts solemn and hopeful. Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away affirms feelings of sadness but provides assurance that true friendship—the kind built on sharing glittery stickers—endures.
—BookPage (starred review)

Sanchez' digital art has a colored pencil and mixed media flair, and she's particularly gifted in conveying human dynamics through poses as the brown-skinned girls sprawl on the floor or dart through the building together hand in hand. While a final scene shows a grown Daniela smiling over a box of Evelyn memorabilia, that's by no means papering over the sadness of the parting, with both girls obviously and understandably griefstricken. It's that honesty that makes this book truly useful: while life goes on when friends separate, adults as well as kids benefit from recognition that friends are essential and that it's valid to mourn the departure of your "numero uno best friend."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Medina approaches the difficulty of best friends separated by a move from the perspective of the child left behind...Vivid colors keep the overall tone upbeat, and a final illustration depicts an older Daniela enjoying letters from her friend. Realistic and quietly satisfying.
—Booklist

Sánchez's illustrations give life to the world these two best friends live in, while also revealing details about the move. The raw emotions that Daniela and Evelyn experience come through in the drawings. Medina and Sánchez have created a winning emotional story about two best friends who will always be best friends, regardless of all kinds of upheaval.
—School Library Journal
Meg Medina
Meg Medina is the 2019 Newbery Medalist for Merci Suárez Changes Gears. The recipient of the Pura Belpré Author Award for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina is also the author of the novels Burn Baby Burn and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind and the picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me and Tía Isa Wants a Car, for which she received an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Meg Medina lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her family.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781536207040
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
September 20, 2020
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV023000 - Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles | City & Town Life
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
Library of Congress categories
Friendship
Moving, Household

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