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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,786 ratings  ·  309 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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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,786 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Start your review of Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands
Here's a fascinating look at sharks - inside and out - as they patrol the waters off the Farallon Islands near San Francisco looking for one of their favorite delicacies - young elephant seals.


The informative text is highlighted by gorgeous watercolor illustrations by the author.

Highly recommended, though seal-fanciers may find the book somewhat distressing.

(view spoiler)

Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Rebecca McNutt
Neighborhood Sharks is an incredible book; complete with illustrations, it lets its readers get up close and personal with some very intriguing creatures, the dangerous yet often misunderstood great whites.
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.)
Lesley Burnap
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!
Edward Sullivan
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everything about Great White sharks I never knew I wanted to know!

I saw this author/illustrator on a Microsoft commercial & wanted to see her work close up. My favorite illustrations in the book are actually the end pages of the Golden Gate Bridge & the Farallones islands.
Jun 26, 2015 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
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clear, clear-group, 2015
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
Olivia Menard
I decided to read a book about sharks, because I love sharks, and I find them such amazing and super cool animals. Sharks are intelligent and can sense a lot of smells and movements. Sharks are their own creature, and they are a wonder within the other ocean life.
I enjoy reading texts because you gain a lot of knowledge from reading these types of texts, and you gain it in a different way than reading a chapter book, or a textbook. There were many different text features placed throughout the
Dec 19, 2017 marked it as picture-books
These illustrations are GORGEOUS, but not for the faint of heart or squeamish.
Stephanie  Weatherly
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the illustrations in this book, but the text in the middle of this book was a bit overwhelming for my young kids.
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
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Lauren Waters
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was like watching the Discovery Channel during shark week. There was so much information full with descriptive details and informative illustrations to match.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
I love to open books and be surprised, and this one really surprised me. I thought it was a basic picture book that told about Great White Sharks, but it is that, and more. Roy uses such beautiful images, sometimes violent images, that show what a white shark does, hunt for food. And that food is primarily, in this book, pinnipeds. These are seals and sea lions and means “fin-footed”. So she begins with artistic paintings shwing the real hunt and the kill, but in between are numerous pages that ...more
Shu M
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edrd-314
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
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Kate Hastings
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
kinda strange book, the first half dozen pages are an illustrated children's story about sharks, then goes into the science of how sharks make such good killers done in typewriter sized font.
Chris Hays
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book displays a great way to learn about sharks, the ecosystem and food chains. Definitely not the generic fact fill non-fiction book.
Not sure why it took me so long to get to this book. It will be a definite mentor text in my coaching!! Wonderful combination of narrative text along with many informational text pages
Steve Tetreault
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This nonfiction picture book provides lots of information about sharks. I thought I knew a lot about sharks, but there was some neat, new stuff for me in here!
Alex Farrell
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wont lie, I definitely looked down the list of books to read and stopped when I saw one about Sharks because I am actually 12. The book Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy was a very solid read. Neighborhood Sharks is about experiences from the author who visited these Farallon Islands in California in 2012. The book mentions other authors who joined Roy who also study island shark populations. The book covered information about ...more
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Katherine Roy is the award-winning author and illustrator of Neighborhood Sharks Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands and How to Be an Elephant Growing Up in the African Wild. She is also the illustrator of The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon series by S. S. Taylor and of Buried Beneath Us by Anthony Aveni. She loves science, history, and big advent ...more

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