Yard Sale by Eve Bunting Book Review

Yard Sale by Eve Bunting
Illustrations by Lauren Castillo
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: April 14, 2015

Almost everything Callie's family owns is spread out in their front yard—their furniture, their potted flowers, even Callie’s bike. They can’t stay in this house, so they’re moving to a much smaller apartment in the city.  Most of their things won’t fit, so today they are having a yard sale. But it’s kind of hard to watch people buy your stuff, even if you understand why it has to happen. 

A melancholy tale concerning a change in circumstances, this story really plucks at the heartstrings. It is painful to watch your stuff be sold, things that although not necessary to life, feel like a part of you. It is worse when the reason you have to get rid of these things are because you can't afford to live in your house anymore, not because you don't want them. When a man tries to buy her bike, Callie flips out, even though she has been told that she cannot keep the bike because there is nowhere to ride it. Then when another customer asks if she is for sale, Callie runs to her parents in tears. "I'm not for sale am I?" she asks as she clutches them. An understandable reaction for a child who feels like she is losing everything.

To be sure, this would qualify as an "Issues" book. It is not for everyone, nor would every child need or understand, but beyond its basic issue message, I think this book would be a great tool for conversations concerning empathy. The illustrations are beautiful and engaging, as I would expect from Lauren Costillo.