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The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie novel about a boy who is stranded on a mysterious beach, from debut author Samantha M. Clark.

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  457 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I don’t generally read children’s fiction – in this case, middle-school fiction. That’s not to say I haven’t any experience with it (my kiddos are teens.) I belong to a group of wonderful women that are participating in a book ‘voyage’. Each of us has selected a book (any genre) that will make its rounds to each participant within a year to eighteen months. We share notes with one another, and by the end of the voyage, the owner of each book will have a lovely keepsake with everyone’s reflection ...more
Hannah Greendale
2019 Best Books of the Year [#10 of 11]

A glorious and unforgettable book! The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast is a harrowing allegory that explores heavy subjects - abuse, abandonment, toxic masculinaty, fear, and death - in way that's entertaining and approachable for young readers. The boy wakes on an island with no memory of how he got there, and his only companion is a bullying voice in his head. In his quest to find a way home, he must face his greatest fears and come to terms with the circums
Kim Chance
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guys...THIS book! Oh my goodness! I don't even know where to start! I typically don't read a lot of MG fiction, but I thought the concept of this one was so intriguing and I just had to read it! I'm so glad I did! It was such a beautiful and thought-provoking story! I was immediately captivated by the boy and I just HAD to know what was happening to him. I found myself so immersed, I couldn't put the book down! I read it in one sitting and at the end I was crying all the happy tears! This is suc ...more
Kathy MacMillan
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is book is so heartfelt, so immediate that readers can't help but get drawn into the tale of the boy who wakes up on a beach not knowing who he is or where he came from. Though we don't know his name - yet - we feel his pain and grief and anxiety as he tries to piece together his past and faces the sometimes terrifying challenges of the present. And hanging over everything is the mystery of what it all means, where his parents are, and why he can't remember. This book is perfect for fans of ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane S ☔
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I think the last middle school book I read was, Wonder, so I'm not very familiar with the books slated for this age group. Part of our book voyage for a group I'm in, and it was a quick, easy read. The story does teach one several good, life lessons, but I also found it repetitive at times. Might be too scary for some younger readers, but I have a grandson who loves this type of book, so will definitely be buying this for him. Loved the visuals and the struggles, thinking this boy had to do to s ...more
Kim Tomsic
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Lucky me! I received an advance copy of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST (pub. date June 2018). This is a story with hope, courage, and heart!!! An emotional literary mystery. Be ready to sit on the edge of your seat for this page-turner!
Cassie Thomas
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"But it's not about being scared. It's what you do when you're scared."
Once upon a time there was a story that blew my mind, and that story was The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast. At a time when children are so vulnerable to others around them, this story is one that will stick with me and anyone who reads it forever. As a teacher the figurative language and author's writing craft are just phenomenal and something I will use in my classroom as a mentor text. As a teacher who reads, this is a stor
Eliot Sappingfield
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely, mysterious, unsettling tale. I'd compare the mood to a kind of bad dream- the sort you still enjoy- really pulls you in.

The story deals with issues that kids will immediately relate to, which is no small feat- and the mystery of what is going on will keep them turning pages.

Absolutely recommend this book, just don't start too close to bedtime or you'll be up all night reading "just one more chapter".

My review is based on an advance copy of the book.
Melanie Sumrow
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about a boy facing his fear and overcoming huge odds. He is the unlikely hero of his own story. The writing is lush and beautiful, yet approachable. This deals with such an important topic: how taxing a negative father/son relationship can be on a young child. Yet, in the end (without giving spoilers), the boy overcomes.
Amber K.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I loved this book. It had some serious themes that would need some major unpacking with kids, but would be very fun to analyze together in reading groups or book clubs. Perfect for teaching figurative language, symbolism and descriptive language. I would recommend for grades 5 and up.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A boy awakens on a beach, alone, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He's surrounded by the terrifying sea and a deep, dark wood that contains a beast. The boy just knows that he has a family he must get to and, when a bright light shines toward him, he begins to follow it. But getting to the light is no easy task and the boy encounters many scary obstacles along the way. And the boy discovers that the scariest obstacle of all is the immense truth his finds at the end of his journey ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

It’s a very straightforward premise: a boy has just washed up on a deserted island. He has no memories, no clue who he is or how he got there.

And he’s scared.

He’s afraid of the ocean and the monster that lurks in its depths, waiting to drag him down…down…down… He’s afraid of the part-wolf part-bear beast that stalks the forest behind the Green Wall, ready to devour him. Wicked birds, sharp stabby rocks…even the wind and weather seem to be again
What a clever, mystical and magical voyage I took with this little boy. I really had no idea what to expect or where the story was going or how it would end until the very end. This is a middle grade read; I feel very fortunate to have a friend who has opened up this genre to me - this is the third middle grade book I've read thanks to Sarah!

There was much symbolism in this book, and it was so accurately reflected. My favorite may have been the owl - but all of the symbolism was very important a
Sandy O'Brien
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Maybe you can’t tell the strength of a person until you’ve seen inside their fears. Maybe a person can’t tell their own strength until they can face their doubts.”
Wow! The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast is a must read for all.
As I was reading the entire book, I could relate to the main character because of all the self doubt that he had. There was always that voice in his head telling him he couldn’t do something. I think a lot of students will be able to relate not only to him, but to the story
Deirdre Keating
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
On the drive home from my father's funeral, I asked Nolan to pass me a book. I had only packed Gawande's Being Mortal when I flew in 48 hrs before my father's death, and the book had lost all appeal (it is a very good book but I think I've lost a parent each time I've tried to read it, so I've never truly finished it).

We were at a gas station, and it appeared Nolan had packed an entire library when he left Colorado. He was debating between three titles and asked me, "What stage of grief are you
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I need to start off saying that I don't read a lot of Middle Grade fiction although I'm always curious about the many options out there. We didn't have so many enticing MG books when I was growing up so I feel like I really missed out on something good! This being said, I'm not the best judge of MG fiction but this book came to me from a Book Voyage and so I was excited because now I had an 'excuse' to read a MG novel. I loved it! While the beginning was interesting, there was a point in the mid ...more
Tara Gilboy
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautifully written, heartbreaking, and hopeful story that gripped me from start to finish. I read this in one sitting, staying up until midnight because I couldn't put it down. In a way, it reminded me of Hatchet because of how alone the boy is, and how much the author is able to accomplish with a single character who is alone for much of the book, but it is much more than that. There is a powerful blend of magic, memory, and survival in this book, and it haunted me long after I had ...more
Laura Gardner
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm not posting this one on my Instagram because I didn't love it. Maybe it's just not for me. I have trouble with books like this where the main character is just "boy" throughout the book with very little description. The book didn't grab me and I actually found parts of the end upsetting. I would be careful about giving this to young children given the way the book resolves. I can't tell you more without spoiling the book... ...more
Amanda Schreiber
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There once was a magical & mysterious island & a boy who wasn’t sure how he got there...

I absolutely loved this story! One of my favorites from 2018! The lyrical writing & clever plot twists will keep any reader hooked! Fans of Orphan Island & When a Monster Calls will devour this story. Clear your day, you don’t want to stop reading! So happy it’s on my Mock Newbery List & that I get to share multiple copies with my fifth graders!
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, lyrc-2021
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't worked out the ending at the very beginning. The plodding pace and repetition was a bit much for a children's/middle grade novel. I can't imagine the target audience enjoying it much at all. ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Told in a fresh, original voice, and filled with mystery and intrigue, this book is a must-read! But be prepared to have everything you think turned upside down and inside out...
Belles Middle Grade Library
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I finished this last night(I picked it up on page 33, & then finished good), & I still can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story quite like this. This is a deeply moving allegory that blew me away..The boy washes up on shore of a seemingly uninhabited beach. The boy can’t remember how he got there, or even who he is. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead ...more
Patty Palmer
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast

A boy finds himself alone on a sandy beach, not sure of his identity, where he is or how he got there.

Told from a unique all-knowing point of view, new author, Samantha Clark’s The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast combines the incredible imagination of Max in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are with the survival skills of Brian in Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.

From the very start of Clark’s story, the reader is pulled in, paying scrupulous attention to the clues that
P.A. Pursley
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
I picked up this book at B&N because I met the author (who is a beautiful soul!) and because the cover is so captivating! And I loved the book! It is a little confusing at the beginning because you are lost as well as the little boy is lost. As you read and the boy discovers who he is, you will find yourself becoming attached to him and his plight. It is well-written and a very creative view of the situation the boy is in. I truly enjoyed this book.

This is the story of a boy who wakes up on a b
Katie Reilley
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not sure how to describe and review this book with spoilers, but I’ll try.

This is a middle grade mystery that had me full of questions until the very end. A boy wakes up on a beach with no memory of who he is or how he got there. I loved the descriptive writing and the way pieces clicked together as I slowly began to figure out what was happening.

Definitely a page turner that you’ll reread to see what you missed the first time!
Another good book from our Novel Ideas book voyage. This book has such a beautiful cover! This is middle grade fiction a genre I don't read a lot. I am realizing there are some great books in it. This started with an interesting premise. I won't say much because of NIBV, but the ending is uplifting with a great message. ...more
Laura Mossa
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy from the author and publisher as part of my #bookexcursion group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A boy appears on a deserted beach. He is wearing navy blue swim trunks and a yellow t-shirt with the words IN REAL LIFE I’M A PIRATE. His head is sore but has no idea of who he is or how he got on the beach.

With every page, the boy attempts to figure out what happened. Seeing a light, he is convinced that it is his parents looking for him and is determined
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A nameless boy wakes on an island with no memories, surrounded by fantastical terrors and memories buried deep in the woods. Will he find his way home?

A beautiful, magic-laced middlegrade novel about fear and family. The book jacket evoked Hatchet -- I would elaborate that it's more like Hatchet marooned on the island from Lost (view spoiler). Clark's first novel takes readers on a rich emotional journey with endless rewards. It is, indeed
Marie Cruz
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful heart wrenching story of a boy who wakes up on a beach with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He struggles with self doubt and crippling fear as he tries to escape the island and the beast lurking in the forest. His journey toward remembrance is one that will have you hanging in to the very last page.
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Samantha M Clark is the author of the middle-grade novel THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster.

She loves stories about ordinary children doing extraordinary things. After all, if four ordinary brothers and sisters can find a magical world at the back of a wardrobe, why can’t she?

When she's not exploring wardrobes, she's writing about magical worlds, so

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