Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

How I Heard About It:  I can't remember who posted about this new novel on Twitter, but I did record the title on my TBR list.  When I put in an order via Amazon I added this title to that order.  I didn't know much about the story, but was confident it was going to be a great read based on who posted it first on Twitter.  I wish I could remember to give credit, but I just can't.  

What It Is About:  There was the Ethan before and there is the Ethan now.  They are two completely different Ethan's residing in the same body.  The Ethan before was best friends with Kacey and they did everything together.  The two of them spent as much time "hanging" out as they could.  They had similar interests and supported each other in all that they did.  After a "dare", Ethan's life changes dramatically.  So much so, that his family decides to move their family from Boston to a small town in Georgia.  The new Ethan isn't sure what this new change will bring, but he knows he left the "old" Ethan behind.  His parents are keeping a close eye on him, his older brother isn't happy about this move, and he must get use to living with his grandfather.  The last thing Ethan is looking for is a new friend.  No one can replace Kacey and the last thing he wants is a new friend.  When he meets Coralee, Ethan isn't quite sure how to respond to her.  She is like no one he has ever met before.  As the two of them begin to spend time together, they each realize they have "secrets" that they are running from and trying to deal with.  Will this new friendship help them move forward, or will their "history" catch up to them and destroy what they are trying to build.  

What I Thought Of It:  Wow!  This was such an excellent read.  From the very first page until I closed the book last night, I was in reading "heaven".  I love when I stumble upon a new book, a new author, and really know nothing about either.  The story was top-notch.  The characters were read, honest, and heart-warming.  The plot moved along at a perfect pace and kept my interesting the whole time.  There were so many moments that my heart actually hurt because of what was happening with Ethan and the people in his life.  Ali really knocked it out of the park with this one.  For right now, this is my new favorite middle-grade novel.  I will be sharing with ALL!  

Who Should Read It:  I'm already thinking of using this book as a class read aloud or even a "Breakfast with Books" book club selection.  I so want to share the story with my fourth graders.  This piece of literature would be used with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.  I also think middle-school readers would also enjoy the story if they were to read on their own.  Of course adult readers who devour middle-grade novels, must read this book.  They will NOT be disappointed.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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