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Publisher's Summary

“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

©2017 Ali Standish (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"This debut audiobook will grab listeners' hearts and not let go.... Narrator Kirby Heyborne is extraordinary in the way he inhabits the character of 12-year-old Ethan, vocal cracks and all.... A perfect listening experience!" ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully done

4.5 stars. All of the characters were so true-to-life, strengths, weaknesses and all. The narrator was superb. Highly recommend.

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Well Done

Loved It. It was a good story. I had the actually book, so it was fun to read along.