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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled
I was browsing Borders on Kauai recently and overheard a couple of young teens ask about 'the Bethany Hamilton book.' I turned and followed as they were led to where "Soul Surfer" was located. After reading the flap, I decided this was a great Christmas gift for many of my young relatives on the mainland. A week went by, and I picked up one of the 5 copies I purchased:...
Published on October 30, 2004 by C. Balderson

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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Will be interesting to teens
Fourteen year old Bethany Hamilton became a celebrity overnight when a shark bit off her left arm while she was surfing one October morning in 2003. Written in a simple narrative style, Bethany describes her love for her family and surfing as well as her life before and after the shark attack. Living in Hawaii, she comes from a family of surfers. She discusses her faith...
Published on May 23, 2005 by LonestarReader


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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled, October 30, 2004
By 
I was browsing Borders on Kauai recently and overheard a couple of young teens ask about 'the Bethany Hamilton book.' I turned and followed as they were led to where "Soul Surfer" was located. After reading the flap, I decided this was a great Christmas gift for many of my young relatives on the mainland. A week went by, and I picked up one of the 5 copies I purchased: DON'T BE FOOLED! This book looks like is is for the 8-16 set but, it is for EVERYONE young and old. A quick, inspiring read that will take your mind off your own problems, and make you realize that God has a plan in everything, no matter what we think or how we feel in times of adversity.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Will be interesting to teens, May 23, 2005
Fourteen year old Bethany Hamilton became a celebrity overnight when a shark bit off her left arm while she was surfing one October morning in 2003. Written in a simple narrative style, Bethany describes her love for her family and surfing as well as her life before and after the shark attack. Living in Hawaii, she comes from a family of surfers. She discusses her faith in God and the strength she finds in her relationship with Jesus Christ.

Her description of the events of that morning are the stuff of nightmares, "suddenly there was a flash of gray." Bethany's father was awaiting knee surgery in the local hospital operating room when the news came in that a young girl had been attacked by a shark and the room was needed for that emergency. He said later he knew in his heart it was his daughter. The quick thinking of her friends and appearance of a paramedic on the scene helped save her life. There is no doubt though that her survival was miraculous. She learned later that she lost almost half her blood volume.

In many ways she is amazed at the interest her story has generated. She does convey her deep faith and hopes that her experiences will serve a greater purpose and help others in times of trouble in their lives.

She is just a kid so do not expect high falutin' prose but this is a touching story and the chapter that describes her return to surfing for the first time is quite moving.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable true life story with some positive life lessons., November 11, 2004
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I bought this for my grade school aged niece (it's a young adult readers book), but decided to read it first. Who can forget Bethany's story of getting her arm bit off by a huge shark? It was interesting to learn about her family. Both of her parents moved to Hawaii when they were young to follow their passion for surfing. They met up while working at the island's resorts, and raised their kids to surf as soon as they could. Bethany is a very accomplished surfer, with endorsements from surfing clothes and board manufacturers, and it's uplifting to know she is still surfing and still doing well in competitions after the accident. Bethany mentions that she is happy to do interviews (which she admits are tedious) as long as she can mention what Christ has done for her life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything is possible if you try, November 29, 2009
Anything's possible if you try!!

The book "Soul Surfer" really shows that anything's possible if you try. In "Soul Surfer", Bethany Hamilton gets her arm bit off by a tiger shark on October 31st. This major situation changed her life forever but she was able to overcome her obstacles with great strength. Not only was it hard to get dressed, it was a challenge to do what it takes in life to survive. With her trust with God, she uses her strength to get through it all and eventually learns to surf again.

She was amazingly able to get through any obstacle just like Stacy's grandmother from "Ribbons". Both of them have a limb that's disfigured and they both have to learn how to use their limb to survive. Unlike Bethany's shark attack, Stacy's grandmother's injury was due to the Chinese custom of wrapping feet. Both girls were determined to not let their disability stop them from doing the things they love. If they had known each other, they would have been a great support for the other.

"Soul Surfer" is about a 13 year girl whose passion was to surf. One morning on October 31st she got attacked by a tiger shark in Hawaii. Luckily she had a great faith in God which helped her overcome the loss of her arm. Bethany wasn't nervous during the attack but her main goal then was to get to shore fast. After Bethany got out of surgery the first thing she said was "When can I surf again?" Now she is back surfing, has done many interviews and is an inspiration to a lot of people.

I would recommend this book to people because this story is an inspiring story. I believe anyone who has a missing body part would love reading this book because they could relate to Bethany and understand her problems. Anyone who loves to surf or enjoys the ocean would love to read this story of a one armed surfer who overcame her tragic shark attack.

The theme of this book, I believe, is to never give up. If you set your mind to something, never stop trying. If you get hurt don't tell yourself that's the end. With the help of God you can get through anything! If you get hurt never give up! Anything is possible if you try.

Lauren D.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book, March 3, 2005
A Kid's Review
Soul Surfer was a really good book. Since it was a true, you can put yourself in Bethany's shoes and imagine how awful that experience was. I give this book 5 stars because I thought it was an inspiring story. There was a lot of pictures that were cool to look at. There were tips that Bethany gave you. This book had a lesson to be learned; and that is that any girl or guy can do anything they put their mind to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all readers, August 31, 2009
I read this book when I was only 11 years old, but now I am 18, and I picked it up the other day and read it, and I still loved it. This story is inspirational how Bethany puts her life in God's hands, and doesn't blame anyone for anything that went wrong in her life, and how she was able to get back on the board after the attack. A great read for all ages!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A positive review from a teenage girl, January 2, 2006
By 
This was a wonderful story, written by Bethany Hammilton herself. It is very discriptive when describing the events on the day of the attack, and also talks about her life afterword. This is a book that is very hard to put down once you start it. It is a very quick read that is very injoyable. Bethany talks alot about her religion and how she believes that God has helped her and the He has a plan for her life. I highley recomend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Inspiring", December 29, 2004
By 
Jim Bryan (Winter Haven, Fl.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A very special young lady whose story is touching people all over. It's comforting to know that Bethany's "Ohana" is so big and that they look out for eachother. We on the mainland could learn from them. Get the book you'll be happy you did.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Surfer, December 4, 2005
A Kid's Review
Title:Soul Sufer

Author:Bethany Hamilton

Main Character:Bethany Hamilton is the main character in Soul Surfer. She tries after a rough time in the ocean, to get back up on her board. It takes alot of courage, but she challenges herself to get back up on her board!

Plot:As 13 year old Bethany Hamilton was swimming in the ocean, she felt a tug on her left arm. She was wondering what it was, but it took a split second until she saw a flash of gray.It was tiger shark of 15 feet. Next thing she knew her left arm up to her armpit and a huge cresent shape of her board was gone. As she watched the water around her turn red, she swam back to shore with her rite arm.When she got back to shore she rushed to the hospital, and was in there for a few days. When she got out, she got up on her board. Since the accident, Bethany has won many meddals, and still surfs today!

Setting: The setting is in Kauai, Hawaii in modern day.

Theme:Bethany has faith and beleives in god,and tries to get back up on her board, with alot of courage.

I like the book because it is very encouraging and makes me wonder how life would be with only one arm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toughest Surfer Girl Out There, January 25, 2006
A Kid's Review
At just 13, Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm and a piece of her surfboard to a tiger shark, possibly limiting her accomplishments of her life forever. But did that stop her from surfing? Of course not! Ever since age three, Bethany has constantly been in the water, usually off the beach near her Kauai home. Her parents are probably most to blame. Both her father Tom and her mother Cheri supported her one hundred percent, because they had both surfed all their lives as well. But her parents are also her teachers, since she is homeschooled. Bethany has two older brothers, both surfers, and a best friend named Alana, another surfer, who stayed withher through the entire attack, surgery, and recovery. She has turned pro and is currently sponsored by her favorite surfboard and clothing manufacturer, RipCurl. Bethany really went against all odds the day she got back on the board. No one, not even her own family believed she would ever surf again, but the very first thing she did after the stitches were taken out was go out and buy a new board! Bethany is not only a celebrity in the surfing world, but in the general sports world as well. She has recieved the 2004 Teen Choice Award for Most Courageous Teen, the 2004 ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete, and was called "The Bravest Girl in America" by YM magazine. Soul Surfer is a triumphant and moving account of Bethany Hamilton's fight to get "back on the board."

Bethany throws her soul into surfing, calling her unique style of the sport "Soul Surfing." (Hence the title Soul Surfer). She may have lost her arm in the attack, but she could never lose her faith in God. Maybe her faith motivated her to try again, and it was so strong that she now competes professionally worldwide. Bethany has proved to the world that the body may be a substantial part of surfing, but it's the soul that counts.

Truthfully, Bethany's experience has made her a better person altogether, and probably even a better surfer! Her heartfelt passion for surfing has brought her closer to God in faith and in spirit, and could quite possibly prepare her for adulthood better than anything.

Bethany Hamilton's first-hand account of the full-on fight to keep surfing is worth the read all the way. This teenage autobiography would interest even the least likely of readers, Bethany's story is so amazing. I recommend Soul Surfer to anyone of any age.

-C. Edwards
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