Eb and Flow by Kelly J. Baptist

Published by Crown Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Ebony (Eb) and DeKari (Flow, a nickname given because of his swimming skills) get a ten-day suspension for fighting when Eb pours barbecue sauce on DeKari’s prized new shoes, and DeKari calls her the b-word and hits her.  As the days tick by, readers learn about each of the seventh-grader’s family and home life.  They’re surrounded by loving mothers, grandmothers, siblings, and extended family, but life is hard as family members deal with pregnancy, gangs, and unemployment.  Both of them have fathers in the military, Eb’s in Texas and DeKari’s in an undisclosed overseas location.  Neither is ready to forgive the other until two of their older male relatives get involved in some potential gang fighting due, in part, to the conflict between Eb and Flow.  The night before their return to school, each of them has a disturbing dream about where that violence could lead that makes them want to do better and try a little harder when they go back.  224 pages; grades 5-8.

Pros:  This novel in verse offers a nuanced portrayal of two tweens that many kids will recognize and relate to.  Both are going through a lot at home, despite loving families, and the ending is hopeful but realistic.  

Cons:  I’m kind of on the fence about whether to get this for my elementary library.  I have Kelly J. Baptist’s other books, but this feels like more of a middle school book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s