Friday 1 September 2017

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 1st September 2017: "The Ethan I was Before" by Ali Standish (Orchard Books)

Writing for middle graders is super-tough but our Chapter Book of the Week this week is destined to win a truckload of middle grade fiction awards without a doubt...
"The Ethan I Was Before" by Ali Standish introduces Ethan, a seemingly ordinary everyday kid - the sort of character that you wouldn't give a second glance to on the street or playing in the park.

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 the city he loves to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.
Ethan's new home feels like the place for 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 secrets are fast catching up with her, and what she's hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.
This is an amazingly atmospheric book with a ton of tension and character right from the get-go as Ethan's story unfolds and begins to entwine with Coralee's. 

Ali's voice is strong and absolutely bang on point for middle graders who have progressed from the funny / silly stuff towards more YA-preparatory stories that deal with real issues they may be coping with themselves.

As we said at the top of the review, expect to see this one cropping up in a ton of awards next year for sure. 

"The Ethan I Was Before" by Ali Standish is out now, published by Orchard Books (kindly supplied for review).