Title: Shark Girl
By: Kelly Bingham
Publishers: Candlewick Books (April 13th, 2010 PB)
Reading Level: Young Adult
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.
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.