When I was first pitching this book, my comp titles were HATCHET by Gary Paulsen meets TV’s LOST. Pretty accurate, I think, and I love both of these. Gary Paulsen’s HATCHET is about a 13-year-old boy who’s the lone survivor of a plane crash and must find a way to stay alive alone in the Canadian wilderness, all while he has a terrible secret that has been eating at him since his parents’ divorce. LOST is also about survivors of a plane crash, but in that TV show, there’s some kind of magic in the air that keeps the action a bit off kilter, like in THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST.
But when my editor acquired the book, she said it reminded her of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman because of the writing and tone. Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman! I was floored and incredibly honored, because I’m a huge fan of his work—and I have to say that’s now my favorite comp title.
In THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, a boy called Bod lives in a graveyard, where he’s been raised by ghosts, werewolves and other beings you’d find in a cemetery. He lives with a foot in the living world and the other in the dead, and must face the terrors of both. Is that brilliant or what? I think so. This is an amazing middle-grade novel—good for readers middle-grade and up—so it’s no surprise that it won the Newbery medal. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you get it…today. You won’t be disappointed.
And if you’re wondering what other books you could read while you wait for THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST to come out in… 17 days!… check out this list that my publishers and critiquers compiled.
Personalized copies of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST are available for pre-order through my fantastic local independent bookstore, BookPeople. The novel is also available for pre-order on IndieBound, Powell’s, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, Walmart, as well as numerous other independent bookstores.