Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Book review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away Book Poster Image
Moving story captures besties' last day as neighbors.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A few untranslated Spanish words are used, which can be easily figured out based on context, if needed.

Positive Messages

Best friends can stay best friends, even if one moves away. Try to be in the moment and enjoy every last minute you have with someone. When you're very sad, get support from someone you trust.  

Positive Role Models

Besties Daniela and Evelyn model being in the moment and enjoying one another, despite the sad circumstances. Daniela has light brown skin and dark hair pulled into two puffy buns, Evelyn has dark brown skin and dreadlocks. Both girls speak Spanish and are presumably Latinx and/or Afro-Latinx. Daniela is from a single parent family, while Evelyn lives with her mom and a dad.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Newbery Medalist Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, is a portrait of two best friends on their last day living across from each other. As parents pack boxes and movers empty Evelyn's apartment, Daniela and Evelyn run past neighbors, use packing boxes in pretend play, and make plans for the future. Sanchez's lively pictures capture the girl's energy and comfort with each other. The sadness of the girls' parting is tempered by an uplifting ending, but sensitive readers of all ages are encouraged to keep tissues nearby. With its gentle messages about being present with loved ones and accepting change, this book will appeal to a wide range of little readers and their adults.

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What's the story?

EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY, but she calls for her best friend Daniela to come over and play, as if it's any normal day. The girls run upstairs and greet neighbors in the hallway, play bus driver with a moving box, and hide from parents. Reminders and thoughts of the big changes ahead intrude, but don't stop the girls from enjoying one another until the last possible minute, after the moving truck has roared away, and it's time for Evelyn to leave with her parents. The girls do their special handshake and hug real hard, and both cry as Evelyn departs, though the book ends on a hopeful note.

Is it any good?

This lovely book packs an emotional punch, and its beauty lies in many places. The words occasionally verge on the poetic, with poignant images, like a moving truck "with its mouth wide open… ready to gobble up" Evelyn's belongings and the girl's apartments being "almost twins, just like us." The scene as the girls' hold hands and spin in circles in Evelyn's empty apartment, and then fall to the ground with the world "still whirling" above them is enough to get adult readers sniffling. The pictures are full of bold colors layered on more neutral backgrounds, textured patterns, particular details, and expressive faces that capture the girl's sweet connection, as well as the diverse city they live in. The best friends' goodbye is heart-wrenching and full of tears, but the final page is likely to make readers smile through sadness. A reassuring pick for young readers who have experienced big changes with friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the friendship in Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away. What makes Evelyn and Daniela's friendship so special? What makes your friendships rewarding or fun?

  • Have you ever had a good friend move away or had some sort of big change in a friendship? How was it at first? How is it now? How can you be a good friend to someone you don't see everyday?

  • Talk about the how pictures and words relate. How do they reflect the girls' feelings throughout the day?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories of friends and feelings

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