Book Review: The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains by James Solheim, Jeffrey Ebbeler

The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains is a picturebook written by James Solheim, and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler. In this story young Alex Addleston has just moved to a new town, and on her first day of school discovers that a boy shares her name. The two Alex Addlestons begin to do everything together. They chase Flatt Mountain fireflies, code secret messages, and collect crawdads. When Alex's parents move her family to Kenya, the two friends lose contact with each other. Half a world apart, each Alex still keeps the other close while climbing trees, counting stars, playing games, and growing up. One day, just maybe, they will rediscover what it means to be best friends, no matter what.

The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains is a fun and heart warming story about true friendship. The two Alex's vow that they will be best friends forever, and do everything together. When they are separated, the two keep their vow despite not being in contact and the vast distance between them. I loved the feel and the bright, playful illustrations that were splendid in their own right. I think that the ending was especially wonderful, with a conclusion in images alone that will particularly speak to the adults that might be sharing the book.

I really enjoyed The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains, and think that readers of all ages will as well. Parents, teachers, and caregivers of all kinds trying to handle the difficulties of children sharing a name (and not being happy about it) could use this book as a way to show nicer ways the conflict could be resolved, and those struggling with a pending or resent move could us this book to help handle transitions.

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