Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shark Girl

Shark Girl is a book I worried about ordering for our library. In The Bahamas, we are constantly seeing sharks and other marine life. In addition, SCUBA is a requirement for all 9th graders at our school and our 7th graders snorkel weekly. I was concerned that reading a book about a girl who loses an arm in a freak shark attack would freak out many readers.

Still, I kept hearing great things about Kelly Bingham's book. When I saw it on a list of books that my hero, Nancie Atwell, recommended, I knew it needed to be added to the wishlist.
The writing style of this book will really appeal to my students. It flows with Jane's thoughts, letters received, news articles, and other writing styles. It is a quick read but very gripping. There are so many things that I never thought about when someone loses a limb. One particularly moving scene has Jane trying to make scrambled eggs for the first time, using the new equipment in her kitchen that is designed to help people missing limbs. I was so sad for all that this girl had lost, while admiring her bravery.

It's not a perfect book, but it was affecting and impossible to put down. The week after I finished it, there were several bull sharks hanging around our usual dive spot. I decided not to dive that week.

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