Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham
This book surprised me. I bought it for the media center because girls love reading about tragedy, and the biography of Bethany Hamilton (the surfer whose arm was bitten off by a shark) is a big hit. I thought this might be a mediocre attempt to capitalize on the popularity of that book. In reality, this is a well-written novel in verse format. The story begins in the hospital after fifteen-year-old Jane has been attacked by a shark. She has just been told that her arm has been amputated. She is depressed and angry and unwilling to be a brave, inspirational poster child. The book is quick and easy to read, but full of deep emotion and introspection. There are moments of beautiful poetry. I think readers will be drawn to the book because of the subject matter and the format, and will find that they are reading a really fine novel. Jane's story isn't full of drama or action—it's a journey of emotional healing. It's a big step up from the usual "chick lit" that some girls like to read.