Cover image for Eventown
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]

Physical Description:
328 pages ; 22 cm
To Elodee, eleven, things seem a little too perfect in Eventown when she moves there with her parents and identical twin, Naomi, especially since forgetting the past is so highly valued.-- Provided by Publisher.


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book Fiction Haydu
Children's Book Fiction Haydu
Children's Book Fiction Haydu
Children's Book HAYDU

On Order



An Amazon Best Book of the Month! "Beautiful, mysterious and deeply satisfying." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger

The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it's impossible for her to be the same as she was before. Not when her feelings have such a strong grip on her heart. Not when she and her twin sister, Naomi, seem to be drifting apart. So when Elodee's mom gets a new job in Eventown, moving seems like it might just fix everything.

Indeed, life in Eventown is comforting and exciting all at once. Their kitchen comes with a box of recipes for Elodee to try. Everyone takes the scenic way to school or work--past rows of rosebushes and unexpected waterfalls. On blueberry-picking field trips, every berry is perfectly ripe.

Sure, there are a few odd rules, and the houses all look exactly alike, but it's easy enough to explain--until Elodee realizes that there are only three ice cream flavors in Eventown. Ever. And they play only one song in music class.

Everything may be "even" in Eventown, but is there a price to pay for perfection--and pretending?

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-What would you give up to always be content, to never experience grief or intense anger? Would you give up choice, variety, creativity, joy? These are exactly the questions addressed when Elodee and her twin sister Naomi move with their parents to Eventown in order to get a fresh start in their lives. The family has experienced something terrible-an unknown event from which they have not been able to recover. All of that changes upon the family's arrival in their new town. It is quite literally a place where the sun always shines. There are no cars needed in Eventown since everyone bikes, the neighbors are friendly, and their new school is pleasant. Her parents are happy, as if the strain on them has been lifted, and her sister fits in like a glove. Elodee is only one who feels a distant strangeness, as if it is all a little too pleasant. Elodee begins to question her "perfect" new home. She notices that all the houses look exactly the same, the library is filled with blank books, and the ice cream shop only serves three flavors. Elodee must being to unravel her family's past in order to figure out what's missing and find true emotional closure for all of them. -VERDICT An emotionally complex and wonderfully told story that will capture tween readers.-Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this thought-provoking novel, 11-year-old twin and experimental cook Elodee and her family leave behind an undefined sorrow for a new start in utopian Eventown, which eschews television, cars, and the internet; where everyone lives in identical houses; and where the air tastes like blueberries. Upon arrival, newcomers must visit the Welcoming Center to tell six critical stories-their most intense experiences of fear, embarrassment, anger, loneliness, joy, and heartbreak. An interruption in Elodee's storytelling leaves her with her memories intact, whereas her twin Naomi can no longer remember her told memories from their past life and revels in the placid conformity of the town, with its library of blank books and single song: the "Eventown Anthem." As the twins grow apart, Haydu (Rules for Stealing Stars) sketches the sinister underpinnings of this seemingly perfect place, especially its pressure to conform in all things-even baking without a recipe or planting a treasured rose veers from the town's established (and always perfect) order. Ultimately, this memorable and brave heroine chooses sometimes painful stories, memories, and love in favor of a sanitized perfection. Ages 8-12. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

A family recovering from tragedy moves to Eventown, an idyllic place where happiness has a dark side, in Haydu's latest. Elodee's family is excited to get a new start in Eventown, away from the sad memories surrounding an event they never talk about. Everything seems perfect in Eventown the place smells like roses and has the best ice-cream, and everyone is happy. But soon Elodee realizes she doesn't fit in like her parents and her twin sister, Naomi, do. Elodee wants to question why the books in Eventown have no words and why each resident is asked to tell their most difficult memories but then can't remember them. With a growing understanding that happiness and love cannot be separated from messiness and pain, Elodee fights to bring her family's most difficult memory to the surface. Readers will feel for the brave, unconventional Elodee, who both affirms her individuality but also feels the loneliness of it. Heavy themes of depression and repression mix with hints of renewal. A hope-tinged tale about the long aftermath of tragedy.--Mariko Turk Copyright 2018 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

A shape-shifting fox, a sentient island, an eerily perfect town and twins who use magic to stay together. Beloved by young readers, speculative fiction often gets a very different reception from grown-ups, some of whom lament that such books lack the depth of literary fiction, especially if - horrors! - they are popular ones in a series. It took a tsunami of media attention to get such adults to capitulate to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and, once they did, they raved about the series as an exception, seemingly unaware of its distinguished lineage. Fortunately, others feel differently, aware that some of the most inventive, enthralling, provocative and (yes) literary writing for children comes in this form. Setting their stories in invented places, a magical version of the real world or far across the universe, these authors explore weighty themes in highly original ways. For established fans, new readers and open-minded skeptics, four new titles offer distinctive and rich reading experiences. would life be better if we could forget the past? That's the question Corey Ann Haydu ("Rules for Stealing Stars") poses in her engrossing EVENTOWN (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, 336 pp., $16.99; ages 8 to 12). It certainly seems that way for almost-12-year-old Elodee, her identical twin, Naomi, and their parents, whose lives have become unbearably sad because of something none of them can stand to think about. Needing a fresh start, they move to Eventown, where they are delighted at first with the charming environment, the kind people, the overriding sense of well-being. While the quiet Naomi settles in comfortably, the more outgoing Elodee does not. An inventive cook, she is pleased with the scrumptious results she gets from a recipe box in their new home, but when she tries to tinker with them or recreate her own, the results are disastrous. After a couple of times watching her gymnast sister perform every routine with nary a grunt or drop of sweat, always getting a perfect score along with the other Eventown girls, Elodee stops attending the meets. Then there is the rosebush their father brought from their old home, blooming wildly and differently from the gorgeous ones around it, never fitting in any more than Elodee does. For it seems that an "even" lifestyle comes with costs. While Eventown has its dystopian aspects, there are no sinister villains â la President Snow of "The Hunger Games," just well-intentioned people who have understandable reasons for keeping the town as it is. With its embedded question about the consequences of erasing all your problems, "Eventown" will doubtless hit many a middle grade reader's sweet spot, reminding them that memories, good and bad, make life worth living. identical twins are also at the center of Anne Ursu's THE LOST GIRL (Walden Pond/ HarperCollins, 368 pp., $16.99; ages 8 to 12). They're physically alike, but Lark is dreamy and creative while Iris is outgoing and fact-oriented. They have always looked out for each other - but in fifth grade, for the first time, they are put into separate classes. Devastated, the girls struggle with this new reality, Lark withdrawing into a world of her own while Iris frets and worries about her. With every difficult situation, Iris becomes more alarmed. How is she to take care of Lark if they are in different classes? Distraught, Iris gravitates to a strange new antique shop in town run by the eccentric Mr. Green, while elsewhere things big and small start to go missing. Told by a mysterious narrator, the story gets darker and darker as the foolhardy and desperately unhappy Iris stumbles in her attempts to help her sister. Yet the book's somber moments are balanced by lighter ones, especially those featuring Iris's classmates and the energetic girls of her after-school Awesome Club, all of whom she has discounted in her self-absorption, but who turn out to be supportive, and critical at the end. While the bulk of "The Lost Girl" is set in a realistic world, the final section is suffused with magic. Capturing with piercing accuracy Iris's evolving anguish, Ursu ("The Real Boy") ends this passionate and complex story with a celebration of sibling autonomy, youthful agency and the power of friends. Eleven-year-old Fionne, the hero of Catherine Doyle's debut middle-grade novel, THE STORM KEEPER'S ISLAND (Bloomsbury, 304 pp., $16.99; ages 8 to 12), is also miserable. Having never known his father, who died shortly before he was born, he is close to his mother - but she has sent him and his sister to their grandfather's island while she recovers from depression. The whispering wind and magical landscape that greet Fionne make it immediately clear that this island is not ordinary. Nor is their grandfather, the Storm Keeper, who has long kept dark forces at bay with the handcrafted candles that fill his cottage. Now, having grown forgetful, the old man is ready to cede his place. While the siblings bicker constantly, Fionne is still hurt when his sister abandons him to search for the legendary Sea Cave with her new crush, who wants to use the place's single wish to become the next Storm Keeper, bypassing the tradition of the sentient island making the selection. Wanting the wish to somehow get his father back and then to help his mother, Fionne tries to find the cave before them, discovering along the way more clarity about his own past as well as a growing awareness of the evil lurking deep below in the island. Doyle's writing glows, with the pitchperfect barbs the young people sling at each other, the atmospheric weather events, her masterfully delineated characters - including the island itself - and a page-turning plot. Heart-wrenching and heart-stopping, this is one gorgeous novel. With the arrival of a stranger to a dilapidated home on J ingu, one of the many planets that make up the Thousand Worlds, Yoon Ha Lee hits the ground running in DRAGON PEARL (Rick Riordan/Hyperion, 310 pp., $16.99; ages 8 to 12). Our 13-year-old protagonist, Min, hears the stranger say that her beloved older Space Cadet brother is believed to have deserted in order to seek the coveted and long-lost object known as the Dragon Pearl. Furious and disbelieving, she knocks the man out and then races off to find Jun. In this world of humans and supernatural beings, Min is a shape-shifting fox who, like all of her kind, stays disguised as a human to avoid the prejudice she would otherwise encounter. Using her wits and a magical ability called Charm that she has been forbidden to use, but does under these urgent conditions, Min manages to get on her brother's ship by disguising herself as a recently slain male cadet whose ghost she encounters. With two delightful friends - a female dragon and a genderneutral goblin with a magic snack-producing spork - Min participates in lessons, learns about the ship's workings and has thrilling adventures galore. Part of the new line of multicultural fan-tasy novels overseen by Rick Riordan - he of the popular Percy Jackson series - "Dragon Pearl" is a clever mash-up of Korean mythology and science fiction tropes. With crisp dialogue, a winning protagonist and a propulsive plot, the tale is enormously entertaining. And a heads-up to speculative-averse adults: If you decided Harry Potter was O.K., this is another one that might surprise you. Monica edinger, a fourth-grade teacher in New York City, is the author of "Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad." She blogs at Educating Alice.