It is rare that I read a book that is completely unique.
The Boy, the boat and the beast is that book.
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 the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.
This is a wondrous book, full of mystery, suspense, and growth.
The idea of a young boy washing up on an uninhabited island (or so he believes), with no memory of who he is or where he comes from, immediately sparks concern and fear in the reader.
Initially alone, he is soon joined by a voice from inside his head, one who taunts and teases him and makes him feel small and incapable, but also, infuriates him into action. As he struggles to make his way home, he comes into contact with the island's animals, and of course, the beast, who challenges him to overcome his fears, even as we sense that the beast has other plans for the boy.
I can't give more of the plot away for fear of spoilers, for this book deserves to be read without any preconceptions, but know this: the ending is satisfying, surprising, and thrilling.
Samantha M. Clark has crafted a unique story using a unique voice that I think children and their adults will find compelling. Even better, the story will help many children stand up for themselves, just as the boy does.