Ebb & Flow

Ebb & Flow

by Heather Smith
  • character-development
  • courage-self-esteem
  • critically-acclaimed
  • from-ontario
  • reluctant-readers

One summer, after a long plane ride and a rotten bad year I went to Grandma Jo's. It was my mother's idea. Jett, what you need is a change of scenery. I think she needed a change of scenery, too. One without me. Because that rotten bad year? That was my fault.

Thus begins the poignant story, told in free verse, of eleven-year-old Jett. Last year, Jett and his mother had moved to a new town for a fresh start after his father went to jail. But Jett soon learned that fresh starts aren't all they're cracked up to be. When he befriended a boy with a difficult home life, Jett found himself in a cycle of bad decisions that culminated in the betrayal of a friend - a shameful secret he still hasn't forgiven himself for. Will a summer spent with his unconventional grandmother help Jett find his way to redemption?

“... a powerful and poetic story of emotional endurance.” — School Library Journal, Starred Review, March 2018

“... one of the year's best books.” — Quill & Quire, Starred Review, April 2018


Heather Smith, author

Heather Smith spent much of her early life wrestling with words. Not only was she a reluctant reader, she struggled with speech as well. Unable to pronounce certain words, she became a walking thesaurus, anxiously swapping out words she wanted to say with words she could say. Today, Heather wrestles with words in a different way — she’s a writer. Instead of dodging words, she grabs them tight with both hands and finds them a home on the page. The author of two young adult novels, Baygirl and The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. Originally from Newfoundland, she now lives in Waterloo, Ontario.


  • Smith’s sparse language exposes the heart of Jett’s anguish and destructive anger; he’s a realistically complex character whose emotional development unfolds organically through Smith’s quiet storytelling. - Publishers Weekly
  • […] one of the year’s best books. - Quill & Quire, starred review
  • [...] a powerful and poetic story of emotional endurance. - School Library Journal, starred review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Kids Can Press

email: atang@kidscan.com

website: kidscanpress.com

rights available: World, excl. English (North America)

Additional Information

age range: 9-12

number of pages: 323

publication date: 04/03/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: PDF