cover image Eb & Flow

Eb & Flow

Kelly J. Baptist. Crown, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-42913-6

In this dual-POV novel in verse, Black seventh graders Ebony “Eb” Wilson and De’Kari “Flow” Flood contemplate the conflict that sees them both suspended from school. Following a heated exchange resulting in Eb sullying the sneakers that Flow’s father gave him for Christmas, and Flow hitting Eb, the tweens face a 10-day stint at home, and neither of their families is happy. Eb, who lives at her grandmother’s bustling, full house, spends her eighth suspension doing as her Granny says and contemplating her perception of herself as a “bad” kid. Flow spends his time taking care of chores, doing boot camp–style workouts with his uncle Reggie, and considering his recent actions alongside a memory of his dad hitting his mom. While the tweens evaluate their families, friendships, and futures, their fight—which has gone viral online—grows into a dispute that threatens to involve their extended community. Personal-feeling lines slowly reveal the duo’s similarities and the truth behind the fight as Baptist (The Swag Is in the Socks) expertly taps into the minds of two tweens navigating accountability. Ages 8–12. Agent: Hannah Mann, Writers House. (Mar.)