Eventown – Distinguished?
Note to readers: For the sake of simulating Newbery Committee work where all members are expected to have read each book in full prior to face-to-face discussions, Heavy Medal bloggers will cite details, including major plot points and book endings. Readers always have the option of coming back to read and comment on specific post after having finished the book.
Last week’s post on our early picks generated some initial discussion over a highly suggested title, Eventown by Carey Ann Haydu. Her creation has a freshness that I appreciate – the world building of the town has just the right amount of creepiness in its perfection and control, existing on the edge of charming exteriors and a tense sense of contentment from its longtime residents. As the tale unfolds and the revelations dawn on Elodee (there are only three flavors of ice cream in rotation; there is but one song to learn to play at school; all the roses are identical, etc.), the reader’s unease expands to an almost unbearable level. Thus, the discovery of how the “uneven” emotions are taken and stored away is quite rewarding. And the conclusion of Elodee’s family choosing to retrieve their grief, along with the sweet memories of the lost loved one, is satisfying. I believe many readers feel the same way I do.
I am, however, curious to know Heavy Medal readers’ opinions on the following:
- Is Haydu’s prose distinguished? Are there specific examples to share?
- Is the explanation of the stripping of (and storing and playing back) the townsfolk’s memories satisfactory?
- Is the pacing of the reveal of Lawrence’s death done skillfully?
- Are the many moments of epiphanic wisdom convincing and organic?
Filed under: Book Discussion
About Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Roxanne Hsu Feldman is the Middle School (4th to 8th grade) Librarian at the Dalton School in New York City. She served on the 2002 and 2013 Newbery Committees. Roxanne was also a member of 2008-2009 Notable Books for Children, 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the 2017 Odyssey Award Committees. In 2016 Roxanne was one of the three judges for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. You can reach her at at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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