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Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board Hardcover – October 5, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: MTV; First Edition edition (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743499220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743499224
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Readers may not recall the name Bethany Hamilton, but after a glance at the cover photo, they'll recognize her as the girl who lost her arm to a shark while surfing. Hamilton tells her own story, though in many places the narrative sounds more like it's from an adult's perspective--perhaps from an adult coauthor. It begins with the moment a giant white shark chomps off her arm. She then goes back to discuss the events leading up to the attack and to describe what her life was like before the tragedy--home-schooling in a strong Christian household and lots of competitive surfing. Hamilton's account is suffused with her feelings for God and His impact in her life. Perhaps because of this relationship, she never seems depressed about her situation; in fact, she is surfing again. The inset of color photos offers further insight into Hamilton's life. Although this may quickly date, it has automatic appeal for a wide range of readers. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Surfer Bethany Hamilton, of Kauai, revisits her first book—about her life before and after losing her left arm to a shark in 2003, when she was 13. Now, with the release of a docudrama on her life, she has added new material. Eleni Pappageorge's narration reflects the maturity Hamilton has gained since the first book. The most interesting passages are about Hamilton's family, their Christian perspective, and the bond formed by their shared love of surfing. The book would be an excellent choice for Christian families listening together—and, thankfully, there's nothing graphic about the shark attack. Interviews at the end provide an interesting look at the making of the movie." 
J.A.S. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Bethany Hamilton's story is so inspiring!!!!
Grace Cole
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.
vmary
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read, that is both interesting and very inspiring.
Froggy Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By C. Balderson on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on May 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lauren D on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Hello Kitty Ellen on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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 By vmary on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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