Review of Eb & Flow

Eb & Flow Eb & Flow
by Kelly J. Baptist
Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    224 pp.
3/23    9780593429136    $16.99
Library ed.  9780593429143    $19.99
e-book ed.  9780593429150    $9.99

Ebony (Eb) and De’Kari (Flow), both seventh graders, are suspended from school after a fight in the cafeteria that neither thinks is their fault. On the surface, this looks like a case of two unruly adolescents acting out. Flow is hurt and angry that Eb ruined the shoes his deployed father gave him; Eb says, “It was all just an accident! / Nobody was trying to mess up / his Stupid Ugly Shoes.” Over the course of their two-week suspensions, both narrators have the opportunity to reflect and to rethink their actions. Are they really “bad kids,” or are they just kids dealing with bad situations? This engaging verse novel reveals the complexities of their home lives, which, despite the kids’ enmity, have similarities and are intertwined in surprising ways. Their alternating narratives employ authentic language and tone that give readers the opportunity to empathize with them as their stories unfold. Baptist (The Swag Is in the Socks, rev. 11/21) explores the effects of parental absence, inequitable school discipline, and social issues such as gang violence. This story will resonate with readers struggling to express their emotional lives in ways that society deems appropriate.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University, and is enrolled in a PhD program at Florida State University.

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