The History of a Word 02/07/20
Eleven year old Ethan doesn’t talk. Having previously been bullied at school, he is now home-schooled by his parents on the family narrowboat. It’s a safe, private and serene existence, and part of a lifestyle on the canal which they all deeply love. So when a representative from the local council pays them a visit to discuss the possibility of him restarting school, Ethan is thrown into a state of panic.
Then a new girl arrives on the canal, her family mooring their boat next to Ethan’s. Polly is chatty, supportive and understanding – and time spent in her company prompts crucial changes for Ethan, including a growing wish to speak again. Through his friendship with Polly, Ethan discovers he can share his love of life on the water – and also to start to explore his past. However, as he does so, some disjointed memories start to emerge, relating to something that happened to the family before he stopped talking, and Ethan starts to fear what he what he may discover.
A short, gentle and highly intriguing story about a boy who is trying to find his voice and make sense of the past.