The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast

Samantha M. Clark. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1255-2
In a story written in allegorical fashion, a boy, perhaps 10 years old, wakes up on a sunny beach with no memory of who he is, how he got there, or even how old he is. On one side of the beach are crashing waves that threaten to drag him into the ocean; on the other side is a large wall of green where a monstrous wolf lurks. To return to his parents, the boy must venture into the unknown, summoning courage at every obstacle, not only to move forward but also to protect creatures smaller than himself. Will he be able to create a boat, defeat the monster, and find his family, all while struggling to overcome the mean voice in his head that tells him how useless and weak he is? In this touching debut, the real-life identity of the menacing wolf is a surprising twist, as is the true nature of the boy’s predicament. Clark writes with a lyrical and appealing rhythm, as she viscerally explores childhood emotions of fear and anxiety relating to bullying, abandonment, and getting lost. Ages 8–12. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2018
Release date: 06/26/2018
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