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The Ethan I Was Before
Cover of The Ethan I Was Before
The Ethan I Was Before

"Readers will be riveted." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Ethan I Was Before is an award-winning story of love and loss, wonder and adventure, and ultimately of hope.

Lost in the Sun meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Ali Standish's breathtaking debut. A poignant middle grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, this is a classic in the making.

Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia.

Palm Knot may be tiny, but it's the home of possibility and second chances. It's also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn't the only one with secrets. Coralee's are catching up with her, and what she's hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.

Okra Pick (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) * Indie Introduce Pick * Indie Next Pick * Goodreads Choice Award Semifinalist * Carnegie Medal Longlist Title * Southern Book Prize Longlist Title * A Bank Street Best Book of the Year * A Children's Book Review Best Book of the Year * Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee * Recipient of the North Carolina Young People's Literature Award

"Readers will be riveted." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Ethan I Was Before is an award-winning story of love and loss, wonder and adventure, and ultimately of hope.

Lost in the Sun meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Ali Standish's breathtaking debut. A poignant middle grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, this is a classic in the making.

Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia.

Palm Knot may be tiny, but it's the home of possibility and second chances. It's also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn't the only one with secrets. Coralee's are catching up with her, and what she's hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.

Okra Pick (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) * Indie Introduce Pick * Indie Next Pick * Goodreads Choice Award Semifinalist * Carnegie Medal Longlist Title * Southern Book Prize Longlist Title * A Bank Street Best Book of the Year * A Children's Book Review Best Book of the Year * Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee * Recipient of the North Carolina Young People's Literature Award

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About the Author-
  • Ali Standish grew up in North Carolina and spent several years as an educator in the Washington, DC, public school system. She has an MFA in children's writing from Hollins University and an MPhil in children's literature from the University of Cambridge. She lives with her Finnish husband and rescue dog in Cambridge, England. The Ethan I Was Before is her debut novel and is followed by August Isle. You can visit her online at www.alistandish.com and @AliStandish on Twitter.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 24, 2016
    Debut author Standish boldly tackles themes of death, guilt, and forgiveness in this tender coming-of-age story. Twelve-year-old Ethan Truitt blames himself for a tragic accident involving his best friend, Kacey. To help Ethan recover, his parents uproot the family from their Boston home and move to Georgia. In the town of Palm Knot, Ethan tries to adapt to living in his grumpy Grandpa Ike’s dilapidated house, fit in at school, and avoid his older brother, Roddie, who is angry about the family’s relocation. Ethan befriends a imaginative and daring girl named Coralee, and the two are soon having the kinds of adventures Ethan once shared with Kacey and thought he’d never have again. While building suspense by withholding what exactly happened between Ethan and Kacey until well into the story, Standish movingly conveys Ethan’s persistent grief and guilt, which Coralee and others helps him think about in new ways. Readers will be riveted as Ethan, his family, and other well-developed characters face the somber realities of life head on. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine This debut audiobook will grab listeners' hearts and not let go. Ethan and his family have moved from Boston to Pine Knot, Georgia, supposedly to help his grandfather, but really to help Ethan recover from "the incident" involving his best friend, Kacey. Narrator Kirby Heyborne is extraordinary in the way he inhabits the character of 12-year-old Ethan, vocal cracks and all. He gives listeners the sense of eavesdropping on his innermost thoughts as he slowly finds his way back to the Ethan he was before. He voices Grandpa Ike with just the right balance of crustiness and compassion and gives tones of believable frustration mixed with longing to big brother Roddie, who had to leave girlfriend and dreams of baseball stardom behind. A perfect listening experience! N.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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