Book Review: Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith

Heather Smith's EBB & FLOW wins the 2018 BMO Winterset Award - Canadian  Children's Book Centre

Title: Ebb and Flow

Author: Heather Smith

Genre: Young Adult/ Books in Verse

Number of Pages: 232

Rating: B-

Recommended?: Yes

Jett’s dad is in prison, and a series of poor decisions have led him to do something terrible. Riddled with guilt, Jett gets sent to live with his grandmother for a while in an attempt to pull his life together. Luckily Jett’s grandmother is really cool and they have a natural rapport, but can he face up to what he did and begin to have a future? That’s the basic premise of Ebb and Flow, a young adult book written in verse that can easily be read in a single sitting. I think it’s also an appropriate read for middle graders; it has some dark themes but nothing most kids will find too heavy to handle.

I liked Jett’s character and he’s easy to empathize with even though he made a very poor choice that led to the mistreatment of an innocent person he considered a friend. I enjoyed his grandmother’s character too and I think their warm rapport was the best part of the story. This book reminded me of another YA novel called This is What I Did but unfortunately I found This is What I Did to be a much more compelling story with a more memorable lead character. While this had a decent story, it wasn’t as emotionally powerful as other books I’ve read with similar themes and I found it relatively forgettable.

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