The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2017
The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish is a story about a boy struggling to work through profound grief. It's also a book full of secrets and mysteries to be resolved. The biggest mystery is trying to figure out what exactly happened to Ethan’s best friend Kacey – the girl who was always ready to accept any dare Ethan offered. The reader knows it was something dramatic enough for the entire family to be uprooted from Boston to his grandfather’s home in a small town in Georgia but doesn’t know exactly what happened.
When Ethan makes a new friend in Georgia, he begins to think that maybe, just maybe, he could start to become the boy he used to be… as long as the preponderance of secrets don't pull everyone under.
My favorite line of the book resonated strongly with me and in many ways sums up this title’s theme: “Trying to destroy hope is like trying to clean sand out of your beach bag…. There’s always going to be a grain or two left.”
I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below! We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.
Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)