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The Ethan I was before

The Ethan I was before

Standish, Ali, author

'You killed her, Ethan Truitt.' These terrible words haunt 12-year-old Ethan after he moves with his family from Boston to a tiny town in Georgia. Stuck in his grandfather's gloomy house, guilt-ridden Ethan can't stop thinking about his role in the 'incident' that took his best friend Kacey from him. In a sea-side community full of eccentrics, and feeling that he doesn't fit in at his new school, Ethan is surprised to be befriended by enigmatic Coralee Jessup, self-proclaimed violin prodigy, boarding school expellee, and expert storyteller. But mysterious things soon begin to happen. As Ethan and his family struggle to make sense of both the past and the future, warnings of a coming hurricane rock the sleepy town

Paperback, Book. English. Children's stories. Fiction 9+. General.
Published London: Orchard, 2017
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Statement of responsibility: Ali Standish
ISBN: 1408342928, 9781408342923
Intended audience: Juvenile.
Physical Description: 380 pages ; 20 cm

Author note

Ali Standish was raised in North Carolina. She has a BA in English and worked as a teacher and programme administrator in the US Public School system for four years. While teaching, she began an MFA in Children's Writing from Hollins University, from where she will graduate in May. In 2014 she moved to the UK with her Finnish fianc?. She currently lives in Cambridge, England, where she writes, edits and studies books for children. She also works as a part-time editor at Working Partners. As a teacher, Ali worked with many children who had suffered a loss or trauma and who often turned to stories to help them navigate their grief. THE ETHAN I WAS BEFORE was born from those experiences.


The emotional heart of the book is lovely.
Book Bag

Back cover copy

Ways I could fix things if I could time travel:

1. I could have convinced Kacey that we didn't need to go to that stupid party

2. If that didn't work, I could have hammered nails into her dad's tyres so he couldn't drive us there

3. Or I could have told her I wanted to stay inside with all the other kids

4. Or just not dared her to do it

There are a million ways I could fix things, if I had the chance.

'Readers will be riveted' Publishers Weekly, starred review