Haydu, Corey Ann. Eventown. Fiction. K. Tegen/HarperCollins, 02/2019. 328pp. $16.99. 978-0-06-268980-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 3-7.
Something sad has happened in Elodee’s family, but no one wants to talk about it. The good news is they are moving to Eventown, where everything is perfect and they can all start fresh. Elodee’s twin sister Naomi loves their new home right away, and her parents are willing to go along with some of the stranger aspects of the town, but Elodee keeps asking questions. Why are all the library books blank? Why do they only sing one song? Why are all the flowers roses, and why do they all look exactly the same? Though Naomi presses her sister to just go along with everything so she’ll fit in, Elodee can’t stop herself from pushing for answers. Then Elodee learns that starting fresh means giving up some of her memories, and she starts to wonder if being sad about a loss is better than not remembering it at all. Astute readers will notice the hints that someone in the family has died, but it won’t lessen the emotional impact of this story about the importance of moving through grief. Haydu’s dystopian society has no evil government to overthrow, only fallible humans trying to navigate difficult and sad situations that are a part of life. Like Elodee herself, Eventown doesn’t shy away from tough emotions and it might break your heart just a little, but it also gives hope for a better future. The race of most of the families in Eventown is not mentioned but one friend, Veena, refers to her family’s history in India.
Sally Engelfried, Oakland Public Library