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Ebb and Flow
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Ebb and Flow
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A powerful story of betrayal, forgiveness and self-discovery."One summer, after a long plane ride and a rotten bad year I went to Grandma Jo's."Ebb & Flow is the captivating story of eleven-year-old...
A powerful story of betrayal, forgiveness and self-discovery."One summer, after a long plane ride and a rotten bad year I went to Grandma Jo's."Ebb & Flow is the captivating story of eleven-year-old...
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  • A powerful story of betrayal, forgiveness and self-discovery.

    "One summer, after a long plane ride and a rotten bad year I went to Grandma Jo's."

    Ebb & Flow is the captivating story of eleven-year-old Jett's summer back home on the coast after "a rotten bad year" in a new town. When his father went to jail, Jett and his mother moved away, and Jett quickly learned that fresh starts aren't all they're cracked up to be. He returns to spend the summer with his unconventional Grandma Jo, bringing along a secret about the betrayal of a friend. Will a summer spent with Grandma Jo help Jett come to terms with his mistakes and forgive himself?

    This emotionally charged story, told in free verse, will pull readers in and captivate them.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 5, 2018
    After a “rotten bad year,” 11-year-old Jett goes to spend the summer with his grandmother on the island where his family lived until his father was sent to prison. In the past year Jett has begun acting out, which culminates with his participation in an act he is deeply ashamed of. Over the course of this free-verse novel, Jett has flashbacks of befriending a boy named Junior, who gives Jett’s anger at his dad an outlet: together the boys steal money from a classmate and bully other kids. Junior’s own story of abuse and neglect is uncovered as the boys journey together towards the act that gets Jett shipped off for the summer. The novel is also grounded in the present, as Jett’s relationship with his “cotton candy granny”—who dyes her hair bright colors, collects sea glass, and shares her own mistakes and wisdom with her grandson—slowly heals Jett and allows him to confront his past. Smith’s sparse language exposes the heart of Jett’s anguish and destructive anger; he’s a realistically complex character whose emotional development unfolds organically through Smith’s quiet storytelling. Ages 9–12. Agent: Amy Tompkins, Transatlantic Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2018

    Gr 4-6-This touching verse novel begins with Jett headed to the East Coast to stay with his grandmother for the summer. Jett had a rough year: his father went to prison, and normally kind Jett joined forces with a bully to vent some of his anger and wound up in deep trouble for stealing from an adult with intellectual disabilities. Readers learn about Jett's recent past through flashbacks and the stories he tells Grandma Jo. The time with his "Cotton Candy Granny" is exactly what the boy needs. They collect sea glass at the beach and Jett realizes that "even after all that battering," the glass survives. His unconditionally loving Grandma's influence soothes Jett's troubled soul, and he emerges forgiven by the man he betrayed and forgives himself. Although the complete healing is somewhat idealized, this is a powerful and poetic story of emotional endurance. VERDICT Full of charm and small bits of wisdom, this redemption story will find wide appeal among fans of middle grade realistic fiction.-Elaine Fultz, Madison Jr. Sr. High School, Middletown, OH

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2018
    Following a "rotten bad year," Jett is sent to live with his grandmother in this novel in verse from the author of The Agony of Bun O'Keefe (2017).Commencing with the almost-12-years-old's arrival at Grandma's "little wooden house / on a rocky eastern shore," the sequence of events unfolds in flashbacks over the course of the narrative. The bad year begins when Jett's father is incarcerated for a drunken driving accident that left four dead and Jett's mother moves him to the mainland for a "fresh start." It's here where he befriends school bully Junior and subsequently turns into a mean boy himself. Junior, who is poor and lives with his abusive father in a shed behind his aunt's house, enlists Jett's help robbing his intellectually disabled middle-aged uncle Alf of the money he keeps in a briefcase under his bed. When Junior discovers the money is merely Monopoly cash, he assaults Alf. The theft and its aftermath are what land Jett at his grandmother's house for a "change of scenery." Jett's first-person narrative is permeated by an intense sense of melancholy and regret, but during his summer with compassionate Grandma Jo, Jett learns to forgive and to take responsibility for his actions and finds hope for redemption. Short lines and deliberate breaks compress the emotion, increasing its power. The book assumes the white default.Heartbreaking--but uplifting. (Fiction. 8-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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