Thursday, January 24, 2008
Bingham, Kelly. 2007. SHARK GIRL. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 0763632074 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]
Jane Arrowood is 15, an award-winning artist, and the victim of a shark attack. An attack that made her famous in a way she never wanted to be famous, caused her to have the nickname “Shark Girl,” and resulted in the amputation of her right arm. Now, Jane is having to learn how to deal with all of these new aspects of life without having her one outlet, art. The doctors, nurses, psychologist, and therapists all help, but Jane relates most strongly to Justin, whose leg was amputated after a car accident. The simplicity of their friendship helps Jane on the path to recovery and acceptance.
Written in verse, SHARK GIRL is a fictional account that could easily be mistaken for fact. The stark honesty of Jane’s first person character portrays real emotions and insights that would occur after such a tragedy. The awkward conversations, the unintentional hindrance of people trying to help too much, the desire to not accept reality, and the eventual admittance “I need you to be on my side” make Jane a realistic, likable main character.
Throughout the book, Jane receives letters from people who have had amputations or who know people who have had amputations. Have readers choose one of these letters and write a response.
Other books about shark attacks:
Hamilton, Bethany. SOUL SURFER: A TRUE STORY OF FAITH, FAMILY, AND FIGHTING TO GET BACK ON THE BOARD. ISBN 1416503463
May, Nathaniel. SHARK: STORIES OF LIFE AND DEATH FROM THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS WATERS. ISBN 1560253975
Other books about teens written in verse:
Sones, Sonya. WHAT MY GIRLFRIENDS DOESN’T KNOW. ISBN 0689876025
Wolf, Virginia Euwer. MAKE LEMONADE. ISBN 0805080708
By Mary D. Buckalo