Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

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Summary:  Elodee’s family is moving from Juniper to Eventown, and not a moment too soon.  Elodee is tired of the searching, pitying looks people give her and her twin sister Naomi.  Naomi tends to get quieter and try to fit in, while Elodee gets angry and sometimes lashes out.  In Eventown, though, everything is simple and easy. The sun is always shining, everything Elodee cooks turns out perfectly, and, best of all, Mom and Dad seem happy and relaxed again.  As part of their orientation, the girls have a session at the Welcoming Center, where they have to tell six stories about their happiest and saddest memories. After the memories have been shared, they go away forever.  Elodee’s storytelling gets interrupted, though, and the memories she hangs onto seem to change the whole town. The townspeople aren’t happy with those changes, and soon Elodee’s family is the target of whispers and stares once again.  Elodee and her new friend Veena become determined to find out what is going on in Eventown, and what it is doing to them and their families. 336 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  A beautifully written, moving story about the nature of grief, memory, and storytelling.  Everyone in Eventown is burying their sadnesses and living a simple, happy life, but at what cost?  Did a Kleenex or two come into play for me as I read the final chapters of this book? Maybe….

Cons:  The pace is a bit slow, and at times Eventown felt a little too much like one big extended metaphor, which may not grab the average middle grade reader.

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