Evelyn's building with its iron staircase railing, the empty rooms of an apartment where friends once spent hours at play, the boxes being moved, Evelyn's afro puffs--all of it reconnected my neurons, causing me to relive a moment I had long forgotten.
The tears that ran on the day I moved and left my best friend behind rolled anew as I read EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY.
But I know that tomorrow everything will be different. Evelyn will be in a new home that doesn't match mine.
I will be surprised if EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY doesn't win some of the highest kidlit honors to be handed out in 2021--not just because Meg Medina writes like an award-winning author, and not just because Sonia Sánchez captures the girls' emotions with a vibrant and deft digital paintbrush, but because this book, this story, is worthy. In a word, EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY is moving.
It's already garnered starred reviews from the likes of Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Horn Book, BookPage, and landed on numerous lists naming the best books of 2020. But more important than the praise, the reason every elementary school guidance counselor and parent should have a copy of this book on hand when a child is experiencing grief is because EVELYN DEL REY infuses hope, and shows that change does not have to mean the end of something, not if we cherish it in our hearts.