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Shark Girl Hardcover – April 10, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Shark Girl Series

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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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0550 (What's this?)
  • 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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had this book on my Kindle for a while. I watched the movie over the holidays and decided I would read the book. Little did I know the two were not related. However, I really enjoyed the book. There were a lot of similarities between the two.

The author has written the story more like a diary from Jane's perspective. Picking up in the hospital after waking up for the injury, the story moves very quickly. The author has clearly covered all areas of concern for Jane and how she is able to deal with them. From interactions with her mom and brother, and extended family, all concerned about her returning to daily activities and being an artist. To her friends and their willingness to accept her with her being different now. And my favorite part was the relationship she makes with Justin, a little boy dealing with the loss of his leg.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has seen the movie and enjoyed it. A very quick read. And also would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with anything in their life. There was a great message about picking up and continuing on.
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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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Format: Hardcover
I liked this story. The main character changes a lot and while it may be a tad predicable sometimes that's just what you need.

Its written in easy to understand language from the perspective of a 15 year old who lost an arm in a shark attack. It has letters added in sporadically and overall I think it would be an excellent read for a teen.

Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked the realistic element of the story. Another thing I liked was that the story was written in verse format, so it was a short read. I liked how it included news articles and letters from people who were inspired by Jane’s story.

This book is good for children in 4th grade all the way through 7th or 8th grade. There are a couple of swear words in the book, but nothing to be worried about.

I liked this book a lot and I would suggest it to anyone!

Student Reviewer: Peace8747
Age at time of review - 11
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