The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast

The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast bookcover

“An unforgettable, life-affirming tale.” ~ALA Booklist

WINNER of the 2019 SCBWI TX/OK Crystal Kite Award

The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this gripping adventure novel about a boy who 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.

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Praise for The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast

“This debut novel should be savored for its atmospheric setting, ominous tension and the beautiful way it brings light to the darker parts of childhood.”


“Clark writes with a lyrical and appealing rhythm, as she viscerally explores childhood emotions of fear and anxiety relating to bullying, abandonment, and getting lost.”

Publishers Weekly

“Weighty themes like courage, love, will, and care for the defenseless haunt this archetypal journey. … A poignant story.”

School Library Journal

“Melodic prose, packed with otherworldly imagery and affecting repetition. … This first novel from Clark offers unusual imaginative and emotion-driven introspection.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Lyrical and hauntingly beautiful, this is a story for everyone who’s had to learn to face their fears.”

Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times best-selling author of THE FALSE PRINCE

“[The boy]’s struggle to overcome his life-threatening fears illuminate how difficult it is to navigate the seas of growing up. His victory is a victory for all of us.”

Kathi Appelt, National Book Award Finalist and Newbery Honor-winning author of THE UNDERNEATH

“[A] well-crafted mystery thriller…[that] speaks to the deepest level of heart and psyche … and about how the threads of love joining families together refuse to fray.”

Susan Vaught, Edgar Award-winning author of FOOTER DAVIS PROBABLY IS CRAZY

“A vivid tale in which metaphor, symbolism, and descriptive language weaves a story about a classic human experience. … It is a story that readers of all ages can enjoy and relate to.”

Bonnie Thomas LCSW, Clinical Social Work/ Therapist and author of CREATIVE COPING SKILLS FOR CHILDREN


Fear and anxiety are in THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. Professionals and caregivers can use these activities to help children find their strength.


THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST uses many figurative language techniques. Use these activities to teach them to young readers and writers.


This guide features questions that can help educators and parents discuss the many elements of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. Spoiler alert!


This guide features questions about each chapter of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST to help young readers with their understanding of the story.