This is an insightful, sympathetic story about a highly intelligent autistic boy who can’t interact successfully with anyone other than Eoin (his dad) and Marie (grandma). The first day of high school is nearly a disaster, but Jaime is saved by a single attentive teacher. What begins as lunchtime entertainment for her soon becomes a mission to help Jaime learn the basic social skills needed to survive the rest of high school. She is joined by the new woodworking teacher. There are many ups and downs throughout the year, but by the last day of school, Jaime, while still awkward, has won over much of the student body. Cheers!— Kay Wosewick
Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize - Shortlisted for the 2023 An Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year - One of the Globe and Mail's "Sixty-Two Books to Read This Fall"
Jamie O'Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of certain objects, books with dust jackets, rivers, cats, and Edgar Allan Poe. At age thirteen, there are two things he wants most in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother, Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind, these things are intimately linked, and at his new school, despite the daily barrage of bullies and cathedral bells, he meets two teachers who might be able to help him, though each struggles against inertias of their own.
How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy's irrepressible dream finds expression through a community propelled by love out of grief. Lyrical and compassionate, it's a novel about the courage of conviction and the power of the imagination to transform-and how sometimes the best way to break free of old walls is to build something beautiful within them.