Hello, Corey Ann Haydu! Eventown will look lovely on a shelf next to The Someday Suitcase, The Careful Undressing of Love, Rules for Stealing Stars, Making Pretty, Life by Committee, and OCD LOVE STORY. Tell us about the scene on Eventown’s cover.
Corey Ann Haydu: We were BEYOND lucky to have Jane Newland illustrate the cover of Eventown, and it is truly magnificent. I can’t stop looking at it. Saying too much about what exactly the cover depicts would give away some of the best twists and turns in the book, but it is an illustration of Eventown, and it perfectly captures all my favorite parts of the town. It feels exactly like what I pictured in my head when I first started writing the book, which is a very special feeling. I encourage everyone to spend time looking at all the little details. But I can’t say much more than that!
What do Elodee and Naomi have in common?
Corey Ann Haydu: Elodee and Naomi are identical twins who share a common goal: they want their family to be okay. Though Elodee is more of a firecracker and Naomi is more of a reserved rule follower, they are both filled with compassion and trust in their family. They are open to doing absolutely anything that will make their parents happy. In their own ways, the both love hard with persistent, resilient hearts.
Do you have a favorite spot in the town of Eventown?
Corey Ann Haydu: Yes! My favorite spot in Eventown is where Naomi and Elodee take their first field trip— a hill covered in blueberry bushes. I based the scene and the location on a beautiful part of New Hampshire that my family and I used to spend every summer. I loved picking blueberries and feeing my shoulders get warm in the sun and falling in love with the way sweet things grow all around us. I knew very early on that for Eventown to be an idyllic place, it would need to be covered in blueberry bushes.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Story is something we all have inside of us. It’s what we turn to when we are making friends, falling in love, saying goodbye.
School libraries are my favorite thing to check out during a school visit! I think you can learn so much about a school and a community by spending a little time in their library.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what my favorite baked good is! Eventown involves a LOT of baking, and I wrote it while pregnant, so you can be sure it is chock full of delicious foods. My current favorite baked good is a maple-pecan scone that my local coffee shop has every so often. It’s the best when it shows up when I’m having a bad morning. It can turn my whole day around.
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 begins to ask questions about Eventown that no one seems to be able to answer. Everything may be “even” in Eventown, but is there a price to pay for perfection—and pretending?
From critically acclaimed author Corey Ann Haydu, Eventown is an utterly compelling and unforgettable novel about the stories that shape us and the transformative powers of loss and love.
“A wonderful and inventive story about being a kid in an imperfect world—beautiful, mysterious and deeply satisfying.”
–Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger