Praise for The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast


Cover and book design by Laurent Linn, cover and interior art by Justin Hernandez
Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
ISBN 9781534412552 (hardcover), 9781534412576 (ebook)

On sale now!

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The novel is also available on IndieBound, Book Depository, Books-A-MillionBarnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, Walmart, as well as numerous other independent bookstores.


“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.” ~BookPage, June 26, 2018

“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, May 7, 2018

“An unforgettable, life-affirming tale.” ~ALA Booklist, May 2018

“Weighty themes like courage, love, will, and care for the defenseless haunt this archetypal journey. The path is also filled with rich symbols, such as a blanket and the titular beast and boat. With a sharp focus on the isolated protagonist and his internal struggle, it is character development that shines most clearly, though the external environmental dangers and the mystery keep the suspense taut….A poignant story.” ~School Library Journal, April 2018

“Clark’s melodic prose, packed with otherworldly imagery and affecting repetition, effectively sets the boy’s fears in a larger context….This first novel from Clark offers unusual imaginative and emotion-driven introspection, earning its several allusions to The Little Prince.” ~Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, May 2018

Lyrical and hauntingly beautiful, this is a story for everyone who’s had to learn to face their fears.” ~Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of THE FALSE PRINCE series and the MARK OF THE THIEF series.

“[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 and MAYBE A FOX

“[A] well-crafted mystery thriller…[that] speaks to the deepest level of heart and psyche, about facing the worst that fear has to offer, about determination and force of will, 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 and SUPER MAX: AND THE MYSTERY OF THORNWOOD’S REVENGE

“THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is a vivid tale in which metaphor, symbolism, and descriptive language weaves a story about a classic human experience—summoning courage while consumed with fear. It is a story that readers of all ages can enjoy and relate to. I certainly loved it!” ~Bonnie Thomas LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist and author of CREATIVE COPING SKILLS FOR CHILDREN

“THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is part action-adventure, part dreamy allegory—a painful, beautiful, and mysterious read. Samantha M. Clark has given us a boy whom we love, fear for, and will not soon forget.” ~Liz Garton Scanlon, author of THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER and the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book ALL THE WORLD

“A journey of determination and self-discover, Clark’s THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST asks us each to face our deepest, darkest fears. This mysterious gem of a book offers us solace and safety, without one note of false hope. Masterful storytelling.” ~Bethany Hegedus, author of the GRANDFATHER GANDHI picture book series and BETWEEN US BAXTERS

“Lyrical and evocative, THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST offers young readers an emotional connection with a boy who must master his fears in the face of frightening and unnatural monsters. Several unexpected twists during a heart-stopping final act cap Clark’s fine debut.” ~Janet Fox, author of THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE and THE LAST TRUE KNIGHT

“THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is an enchanting exploration of the power that resides in the stories we tell ourselves, and how we can change those stories…and possibly our own destinies. Heart-wrenching and hope-filled.” ~Nikki Loftin, author of THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY and WISH GIRL

“Lyrical and heart-catching, THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is also a page-turner of a mystery with a profoundly satisfying conclusion. A book for any child—or adult—who’s ever had to fight with fear.” ~Katherine Catmull, author of SUMMER AND BIRD and THE RADIANT ROAD

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