Ebb & Flow was it all –  a wonderful story that is sad, heartbreaking and hopeful.

Written in free-verse poetry , we learn at the beginning of Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith ($17.99, Kids Can Press) that something happened to Jett and  that he has made a mistake. We also learn that Jett thinks he is stupid and a terrible person, which is where part of the sadness, at least for me, comes in.

We also know Jett has been sent by his mother to live with his eccentric, fantastic, amazing grandmother, who lives by the ocean.

We eventually learn what made Jett go from a caring and kind individual to someone who started hanging out with the wrong person – although himself a victim of awfulness (so sad)  – and who made terrible choices.

But much like Jett’s grandmother, we see Jett for who he really is: a boy who something terrible has happened to and who simply made a bad choice.

The free verse made the book a quick read, but despite the there is a whole lot going on his this book, that days later I am still thinking about. While I don’t agree with the choice’s Jett’s friend Junior makes, unlike Jett, he truly has nowhere to turn and no one to take his side or look out for him. What saddens me the most is there are so many Junior’s and Jettt’s out there and it’s heartbreaking. But despite the sadness, there is hope, particularly for Jett, who I think is a wonderful person who deserves a true fresh start.


I attempted to read this book to my nine year old – I think there are some great lessons in here – but he wasn’t interested, nor did he get why the book was written in free verse rather than just in book form. (I don’t really understand either to tell the truth. I just know I like it.) However, I have a wonderful collection of free verse books waiting for him when he is a bit older and ready to try again.

A copy of this book was provided by Kids Can Press for an honest review. The opinions are my own.