Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith
A powerful story of betrayal, forgiveness and self-discovery.
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.
One summer, after a long plane ride and a rotten bad year I went to Grandma Jo’s. It was my mother’s idea. Jett, what you need is a change of scenery. I think she needed a change of scenery, too. One without me. Because that rotten bad year? That was my fault.
Thus begins the poignant story, told in free verse, of eleven-year-old Jett. Last year, Jett and his mother had moved to a new town for a fresh start after his father went to jail. But Jett soon learned that fresh starts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. When he befriended a boy with a difficult home life, Jett found himself in a cycle of bad decisions that culminated in the betrayal of a friend – a shameful secret he still hasn’t forgiven himself for. Will a summer spent with his unconventional grandmother help Jett find his way to redemption?
Writing in artfully crafted free-verse vignettes, Heather Smith uses a deceptively simple style to tell a powerful and emotionally charged story. The engaging narrative and the mystery of Jett’s secret keep the pages turning and will appeal to both reluctant and avid readers. This captivating book offers a terrific opportunity for classroom discussions about the many ways to tell a story and how a small number of carefully chosen words can have a huge impact. It also showcases the positive character traits of empathy resilience, courage, and responsibility.
AGES: 9 to 12
227 pp. Paperback
13.5cm x 1.91cm x 22.4 cm
Published October 2022 by Kids Can Press