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Shark Girl Hardcover – April 10, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; English Language edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763632074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763632076
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6–10—Jane, 15, is smart, good-looking, and the best artist in her school. After a shark attack at a local beach results in the amputation of her right arm, nothing is the same. Bingham's free-verse novel neatly accommodates the teen's loss; her dreams, anger, and frustration are explored as she rebelliously tries to adjust to her new circumstances. The main narrative is interspersed with news clippings, internal dialogue, and letters of support from other amputees, and even though Jane resists being part of that community, there are connections. Her voice is authentic and believable as both a teenager and victim. This engaging read will entice enthusiastic and reluctant readers; the drama of the shark attack will hook them, and Jane's inner journey will hold them till the end.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Jane Arrowood wonders if she will forever be known as the "Shark Girl," who survived a shark attack on a golden California June day. A popular 15-year-old with true artistic talent and a strong circle of friends, Jane suddenly feels extraordinarily different with a prosthesis where her arm should be, and, worse, pain and itching where it used to be. Why shouldn't she feel sorry for herself? Sometimes she almost wishes that she hadn't survived. Why shouldn't she feel different? In carefully constructed, sparsely crafted free verse, Bingham's debut novel offers a strong view of a teenager struggling to survive and learn to live again. Her metaphors are authentic, visual, and lovely, and she uses spacing between words to telegraph the pauses in awkward conversations when family and friends try but fail to address the real conversation--her missing arm. It's a familiar story line written in a fresh voice, one that will be justifiably popular. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

I hope that there will be another book like this one .
Mrs. H
I'm not trying to minimize or deny the horror of Jane's pain, but I couldn't help feeling that she was luckier on many levels than other people her age.
Rosana
My daughter had to read this over the summer for school.
Bonnie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What begins as a typical day at the beach ends in tragedy. While swimming in the ocean, with her mother and older brother looking on, Jane loses her arm to a shark. Needless to say, her life changes forever. While recovering from her loss, she must visit the hospital, the psychiatrist, and the physical therapist in turn. She details these appointments as well as her readjustment to life at home and high school. As different people attempt to heal her body and question her abilities, Jane must try to heal her own spirit and mind.

Jane was once an artist, dependent upon that arm, that hand, those fingers to express herself on paper. Her other arm is fine, but her thoughts don't flow as freely down that way, and her other hand and fingers feel awkward, pudgy, unable to capture the pictures in her mind's eye. Everything looks and feels wrong, wrong, wrong.

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham is 95% verse novel, with news clippings, letters, and phone conversations interspersed. At first, Jane feels as though she is maybe half of who she once was - maybe even less - but as she attempts to regain control of her life and regrasp her talents, she starts to feel whole again. This book is 100% heart. Recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Haberly on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book you can't put down. The character is strong, likeable, and believable. You will admire her courage and the obstacles she faces in her return to "normal" life. This book is written in prose with letters, conversations and newspaper articles mixed in, which makes it seem so real. You will want to see how Jane overcomes this huge loss and picks up the threads of her life. A heart-warming read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Whitney on November 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
SHARK GIRL by Kelly Bingham is a fast and unusual read. It's written in verse (a style I increasingly love because you can read it so quickly) and it's told by a girl who loses her arm in a shark attack. It's a heartfelt story about what it means to lose something precious. That's obvious, right? I mean, we're talking about an arm here! Somehow, the author manages to convey precisely how it would feel to live with only one arm, the likely awkwardness, the new skills that must be learned. Particularly poignant is the narrator's relationship with her mother and her brother, who treats her the same and who eventually just says, "I don't care how many limbs you have. You need to help me with chores." (He doesn't quite put it like that, but you get the idea.) Because what the narrator wants more than anything is to be treated as a person, not as a person missing an arm.

SHARK GIRL is probably won't be the first book you think of to buy or read. But if you do either, you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BookWhisperer on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Shark Girl is a very very fast paced read. Being set up as a poem structure you don't really feel as though you are reading a typical books. It is very easy to find yourself halfway through the book within a few hours. I finished this book in one sitting. The story is that of a very unlucky little girl that is attacked by a shark. After having mangles her arm terribly that doctors had to amputate, and this is the story of a survivor and struggling to find comfort in her old life. I was exceptionally intrigued by the friend she of Justin and Jane; it was amazing to see how the younger boy was able to accept his disability and more forward. It is heart wrenching to watch Jane possible destructive behavior turned around by the support of a younger child. This story is one that will leave you thinking way past the last page. Just what would you do if you were to lose a arm or a leg? Would we be the strong survivor or would we wallow and lose ourselves in defeat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Most of us struggle with how we want to be perceived or defined. Am I a good student, a great athlete, an amazing artist? All that was snatched from high schooler Jane. In one moment, she was the victim of a shark attack and barely survived. Now, she would be forever defined as shark girl or the girl with one arm. No more brilliant artist or talented athlete. Shark girl. Or, so she thinks. This novel is written in stream-of-consciousness verse, conversations, newspaper articles and poems (see example below) to capture Jane's road to recovery and the redefinition of self.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. H on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Shark girl was a very intresting book I thought it related to life in many ways like how tuff it would be to be in a shark attack. Jane must have been one of the luckiest girls that survived in a shark attack. Life would be so hard to live without half of a arm but Jane got threw it . This book was one of the books i liked. There were some boring parts but then it just got better and better. I hope that there will be another book like this one .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise Roberts on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything — absolutely everything — changed. This book is Jane's story of how she deals with losing her arm in a shark attack. She has many questions: Why did this happen? Why her? What about her art? What about her life? I really liked this book because it tells what it’s like to lose part of yourself and to have the courage it takes to find yourself again.

This book is in the genre of biographical fiction. It tells the story of one girl's experience. It is written in free verse poetry and uses poems, letters, telephone conversations, inner conversation, and description of thoughts and events. This is the first time I ever read a book like this. Many people think this style is not very descripted, but it allowed to use my imagination on the details of the setting and I thought it was VERY descriptive on thoughts and emotions.

I could really relate to Jane. She is about the same age as me dealing with the same situations with school and friends. I could put myself in her shoes and imagine how I might feel if I were her by the way she describes it. In this book you could feel how much pain, suffering, and frustration that her and her whole family had to go through. Especially when it was little things that teenagers go through. This is also very relatable to parents, because it could be same way that the parents would react if they were in her mom's situation and same with family members. This story can relate to anyone that reads it.

I really really did enjoy this book and I suggest that everyone should read it. It had a very different kind of writing style to it and that's what made it interesting, entertaining, and really different. It may not be for every one but definitely is worth trying out.

By: Alivia Roberts
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