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.
Meg Medina
Meg Medina is the author of the Newbery Medal-winning book Merci Suárez Changes Gears, which was also a 2018 Kirkus Prize finalist. Her young adult novels include Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award; Burn Baby Burn, which was long-listed for the National Book Award; and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind. She is also the author of picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, which was a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor Book, and Tía Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Claudio Muñoz is an award-winning illustrator who has worked for many newspapers and magazines as well as illustrating several children's books. Born in Chile, he now lives in England.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2020
Age Range
5 - 7 years

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