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Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  571 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Up close with the ocean's most fearsome and famous predator and the scientists who study them—just thirty miles from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge!

A few miles from San Francisco lives a population of the ocean's largest and most famous predators. Each fall, while the city's inhabitants dine on steaks, salads, and sandwiches, the great white sharks return to California
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by David Macaulay Studio
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Thomas Jefferson by Maira KalmanAt the Same Moment, Around the World by Clotilde PerrinFlorence Nightingale by DemiMr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs DavisThe Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert
NEW Children's Nonfiction In 2014
7th out of 80 books — 24 voters
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Best non-fiction picture books
92nd out of 301 books — 95 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 960)
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First Second Books
This book is gorgeous! And sharks are fantastic.

(Just FYI, sharks: you are not really welcome in my neighborhood, despite this positive book review. Just so you know.)
When you’re a librarian buying for your system, you come to understand that certain nonfiction topics are perennial favorites. You accept that no matter how many copies you buy, you will never have enough train or joke or magic books. And the king daddy topic to beat them all, the one that leaves a continual gaping hole in the Dewey Decimal area of 597.3 or so, is sharks. Kids can’t get enough of them. Heck, adults can’t get enough of them. Between Shark Week and movies like Sharknado, sharks ha ...more
Lesley Burnap
Meticulously researched. Kids will go crazy for the paintings and stay for the facts! If you have children or students who love sharks, this is a must have!
Jun 26, 2015 Megan added it
Shelves: twin-texts
Twin Text

Nugget and Fang: friends forever – or snack time?
By Tammi Sauer
Published 2012

Rationale for Twin Texts Selection

The children are doing a unit on sharks, so I am using these books to teach them about sharks. The Neighborhood Sharks book is full of great information and it has great illustrations and diagrams to get the information across. The Nugget and Fang book is more for fun. Fang is not your typical shark but since the students learned about real sharks they will be able to compar
I feel like Neighborhood Sharks is everything that good non-fiction should be - engaging, well-researched, informative, challenging, and dramatic. The book begins almost like a picture book as the reader follows a swimming seal with the shadow of a shark lurking in the background. The drama builds as the shark grows larger, until, all at once, it strikes, catching the seal in its powerful jaws and clouding the water red with blood. What a set up, what a hook to lure readers in and get them inter ...more
Edward Sullivan
The story of the great white sharks who come to feed at the Farallon Islands near San Francisco and the scientists who study them is told in a fascinating, informative narrative and in spectacular, dramatic illustrations. An exceptional work of nonfiction.
Great White sharks have to be the scariest creatures on the earth. Interesting that these congregate near San Francisco every year, and many people do not even know they are there. About 30 miles from the Golden Gate bridge, around the Farallon Islands.

Neighborhood Sharks tells about the behavior of the Great Whites, and their anatomy, in enough detail that now I feel I know something about them. It is unfair to label them as killing machines, as per Jaws. They are dangerous, of course, but not
This is one of my new favorite nonfiction books. It is all about great white sharks and how they live and survive in California’s Farallon Islands (think San Fransisco). The thing is, this book has beautiful illustrations. Which I don’t often think of when I think of nonfiction books–which I tend to like photographs in seeing how they are books about “true” things. But not everything to know about great white sharks can be adequately explained through pictures. Sometimes you need a super-awesome ...more
This fascinating book is one of the Sibert HONOR books which shows what an amazing year it was for nonfiction! This book shouldn't need any booktalking: just let kids see the cover and maybe one page inside where the shark captures the seal. This book is decidedly not for the faint of heart who want to pretend nature is all sweet and lovely. This book gets right to the point: exactly how does a shark manage to be a top predator. Especially the Great Whites around Farallon Islands just a little w ...more
Shu M
This story is about the great white shark. It tells a story about how the neighborhood sharks' life is like at Farallon Islands. The book showed talked about how the sharks hunt for its foods. It's a very interesting book. I knew something about sharks but this book really opened my eyes about sea creature lives. The illustrations are fabulous! The illustrations are real and it made me stopped at several pages to look at all the details of the illustrations. I think this book is suitable for 2nd ...more
This book is great for all ages! The watercolor like illustrations are mesmerizing and take the reader underwater and right up close to the sharks without being overly graphic. The facts are presented in a clear and organized fashion. Although the facts are scientific they are to the point and use metaphors to help kids better understand. (One comparison within the book is between a shark and an airplane!) There is also some storyline which helps capture the audience and the full spread pictures ...more
MB (What she read)
Very nice! Being an ocean mad child, I would have loved this book. Great artwork and easily understood illustrations and written material gives a great overview of what (unfortunately not enough) we know about Great Whites. The Farallons aren't too far from me and I've always been intrigued by the sharks and the scientists studying them.

I have to admit however that I'm not going to share this with my little nieces until they're older. I'm afraid we'd come down on the side of Team Elephant Seal.
Oct 03, 2015 Eva rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: rll-538
I have visions of children roaring "o-o-h" and "a-h-h" when they see the pages of the shark striking its prey!
This is the perfect book for a child who is infatuated with sharks and the ocean. The illustrations are intense and colorful. It is clear that the author has done extensive research; this book is packed with details and diagrams, including the shark's anatomy. An exciting book for ages 7 and up, but it may not be for the faint of heart. This book is a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book.
Kate Hastings
Grades 2-5. Good nonfiction read-aloud about the great white shark migration. Great ecological connections to food web and nutritional energy cycle. Shows how shark bodies are adapted for hunting. Pair with Reynolds Carnivores.
Mary Ann
Absolutely terrific in so many ways. Full review to come.

Did you know the world’s largest wild population of great white sharks lives just 30 miles from San Francisco? This terrific picture book combines compelling paintings with informative text to explain how these predators are able to hunt down their perfect prey so effectively. Roy focuses on the shark’s streamlined body, warmed blood, excellent vision, endless teeth and projectile jaws--providing clear scientific information while hooking
Roy, K. (2014). Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands. New York : David Macaulay Studio, Roaring Brook Press.

Sibert Honor (2015)

Category: Sibert

Author Katherine Roy had the opportunity to visit the Farallon Island with are off the coast of San Francisco, CA, in order to gain information on the Great White Shark for her writing of an engaging and informational book. As inspiration and studying for her book, she was able to go “behind the scenes” where
From a close reading of the text with the an eye to how the graphics support the content in the text, I was disappointed.

My beefs - It's listed for 2nd-6th grade (on Amazon) or grades 3-5 (Booklist). The content in the bulk of the book is way too hard for 2nd/3rd grade to really, really understand what the author is trying to teach you about sharks. I think it would be hard for 4th grade even.

Consider the first paragraph on the page HIGH DEFINITION VISION -
White sharks are visual predators--they
A quick look at great white sharks told from the perspective of a single hunting shark and how different aspects of the shark are important for the hunt.

I have a rough time rating this book, as the paintings are very pretty and for shark fans the information and detail are really cool (meaning they would probably have given this book 4 or more likely 5 stars), but I'm not a shark fan. The whole time I'm reading the book, I'm distracted by the dying seal which is shown on every page until the po

In visually stunning illustrations and engaging text the author/illustrator provides an up close perspective on great white sharks. Because she spent time observing them in their fall feeding grounds 30 miles from San Francisco, she is able to create action-filled illustrations and detailed diagrams, all designed to give readers more appreciation for these powerful creatures. The book also allows readers to see what makes the great white shark such an efficient killing machine: its body, its blo ...more
Neighborhood Sharks is one of the most amazing nonfiction books I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). The explosive cover illustration is stunning and will pull in any shark reader out there of any age. The author takes the time to not only tell the story of what a great white shark hunt is like, but she also details what makes them such incredible hunters, and what scientists are doing to try to understand and protect them better. With millions of sharks being killed every year, the more we kno ...more
Abigail Elyse
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy is a non-fiction children’s book about the great white sharks that roam near California’s Farallon Islands. First, the book takes a story line approach as a great white stalks it’s pray. Then next to the brilliantly done water color artwork it gives explanations and details to different aspects of the shark. These include what they eat, how they hunt, why they are such good hunters, and the anatomy o ...more
Fascinating (and gruesome!) account of the great white sharks that gather in the seas around the Farallon Islands (near San Francisco) every year to feast on seals and sea lions. The author’s beautiful illustrations capture the grace and ferocity of the sharks, while detailed diagrams explain how the shark is such a perfect predator. Highly recommended for anyone interested in sharks!
Chris Hays
This book displays a great way to learn about sharks, the ecosystem and food chains. Definitely not the generic fact fill non-fiction book.
The great white sharks love to eat seals, and there is a little island just off the coast of San Francisco where seals like to hang out. A few months out of every year, after the seals have been properly fattened up, the sharks come to feast. Katherine Roy tells the story of these sharks live especially relating to their prime feeding time, August through November. Roy not only talks about their eating habits, but she also explains the anatomy of these sharks, and what makes them so unique. She ...more
Hallie Jackson Brackett
Apr 06, 2015 Hallie Jackson Brackett rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd graders and up
When I first started reading this one, I thought it was going to be a fun informational book for K-1st grade due to the short text but then BAM! everything got longer and more complicated with some pretty detailed diagrams. For this reason, I wouldn't share this one with anyone under 2nd grade. I especially think that age group is a good one to share this with due to the development of the self and empathy at that age and the theme of conservation in the book.

As for the illustrations, I think th
This book was an indulgent post-graduation gift to myself. The employees at the independent bookstore squealed jealously when I went through the checkout line. It's a serious delight and a real appetizer to Shark Week in a mere few months. Ms. Roy is to be commended for merging science, biology, and artistry in this wonderfully informative book.
4.8 stars

Got this title from a list of notable nonfiction for children for 2014.

This is pretty much a perfect nonfiction book for kids. It's a good length. The illustrations are terrific---and they really are illustrations instead of photographs.

The topic is certainly high interest----great white sharks. The book is about a group of great white sharks that return every August through November and feed in the waters around the Farallon Islands. These islands are located just off the shore of San
Lisa Newhouse
The basic images in this book seemed to be aimed at the 1-3 grade audience, however, the diagrams and much of the text were aimed towards a much higher level. I read this book with a 5th grade student and was amazed at the complexity of this text. Some of the information even took me a couple reads to completely understand. This book would be better if it had aimed toward one audience or the other. If the author really wanted to aim to younger audiences, she could have kept the simple pages and ...more
My oldest was once a shark-obsessed Kindergartener--so I've read my share of shark books. But none like this one. I love that NEIGHBORHOOD SHARKS focuses on the great whites of California's Farallon Islands and tells their specific story. The way Roy plays with the juxtaposition of the these famed predators feasting just miles from their human neighbors in San Francisco makes for irresistible storytelling. This well-researched book unravels its information with perfect timing, drama and metaphor ...more
The ink, pencil, gouache, and watercolor illustrations bring this powerful informational non fiction title to life. Katherine Roy researched the sharks of California's Farallon Islands by spending four days on a boat with the Farallon shark team, to gather fascinating information about the white shark, the largest predatory fish in the ocean. The illustrations of the sharks masterfully plotting and making their attack on their favorite feast, the northern elephant seal are so dynamic you feel yo ...more
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Katherine Roy loves science, history, and big adventures, and is endlessly fascinated by the way things live. Neighborhood Sharks Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands is the first book that she has both written and illustrated. Katherine is also the illustrator of The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon series by S.S. Taylor and Buried Beneath Us by Ant ...more
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