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Shark Girl (Shark Girl #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,187 Ratings  ·  538 Reviews
A teenager struggles through physical loss to the start of acceptance in an absorbing, artful novel at once honest and insightful, wrenching and redemptive. 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. Now she' s counting down the days until she return ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Candlewick Press (MA)
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roger daltrey may not get fooled again, but for me, it happens time after time.

dear books, please tell me when you are going to be poetry.

this is Family all over again.

this is a book about a girl who loses an arm to a shark attack. A SHARK ATTACK!! this has "me" written all over it! not because i have lost an arm to a shark attack (although it would explain my atrocious typing) - i would never go near the ocean. and why?? because of a
Lola  Reviewer
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This is the worst book I have read this year. Of course, my opinion is subjective, but God am I disappointed this wasn’t even a little tiny minuscule bit better.

It’s supposed to be poetic, told in verse. But this isn’t what I call poetry and I’m positive real poets, like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and William Shakespeare have been turning in their graves since the publication of this… er, book.

There’s nothing poetic about it,
unless you consider this,
But I hope you don’t,
because thi
Stephanie A.
The minute I saw this book I was hooked on its premise; I couldn't wait to read something that dealt with the aftermath of a shark attack. I didn't flip through the pages before I checked it out of the library, though, and as soon as I opened it I was disappointed to see that it was written largely in poems. I read it anyway, because I still wanted to know what happened. But this is the last book I will ever read in that format, because when most of your lines don't even cross the page, this sty ...more
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shark Girl, a book by Kelly Bingham, tells the story of a young girl who is struggling to regain her life after being attacked by a shark, and losing her arm.
On a sunny day at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen year old Jane Arrowood’s life would change forever. While going for a swim alone she is attacked by a shark, luckily her brother spotted her and was able to get her to the hospital. Although lucky to be alive, Jane doesn’t want to face the fact that her arm is gone forever. She
Jordan Davison
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham is a realistic fiction novel about a girl whose whole life changed in an instant. Jane Arrowood is a fifteen year old girl with a passion as an artist. She had won the school art show now two years in a row and was going for a third. Yet, on one summer day in June at a California beach called, Point Dume State Beach, one swim changed Jane’s life forever. The moment she woke up and heard all the news reports of “Teen girl attacked by shark on public be
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in reading this book because my students read a story about Bethany Hamilton (mentioned in this book) at the beginning of every school year. I thought, since they're always interested in knowing more about Bethany and what she went through, this would be a good book to recommend.

It is... kind of. Jane must go through quite a bit of what Bethany does: dealing with the faces, the concern, the random notes and gifts, the helicopter nurses and doctors, the therapy, the self-pity and
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I would not call this book a lot of things: I would not call it Novel in Verse; I would not call it inspirational or affecting; I would not call it finely crafted or artistic; I would not call it a Young Adult Novel, even. I could see that this two-hour-or-less and you're done reading a 250+ page book might be popular for a while among young readers because of its subject matter of dealing with a life's rarer hardship and that nothing in the book offends anyone's senses by being too gorey or two ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What I really liked about this novel in verse is how it showed that Jane had to redefine herself, to remake herself, after her accident. She had to learn to accept herself before others could accept her, and she had to be willing to explore new options. I read it all in one sitting--couldn't put it down! This would make a great discussion book.
Jenny Delrio
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Have you ever felt the pain of only having one arm? Well in this book there is a teenage girl named Jane that looses her arm because he was bitten by a shark. This teenage girl was a regular normal teen that liked having fun going out with friends and enjoying her time with her family on the beach. Jane went to a really happy teenager to a depressed one.

Jane and her mom and brother went out to the beach because it was really nice that day out. Jane lost her father when she
Alexis Frasier
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal response- I really enjoyed this book and so I gave it a 5 out of 5. I can not wait to read the next part of the series. I really enjoyed reading about the struggles that she was facing at her age of time.

Plot- Fifteen year old Jane and her family was hoping to have a great day at the beach but as soon as fast that great day at the beach turned to a day that Jane and her family will never forget. As she finished tying up her pink bikini which Michael her brother would always say was so s
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-grade
In "Shark Girl" by Kelly Bingham, Jane was self conscious at the beginning in the book. Before school started she didn't want to do anything fun with her friends, or just go outside. She tried to stay inside the house as long as she could hiding away from the world. Jane was afraid of being judged at what people would think of her. For example, in the text it says "Come with me to the grocery store," Mom says..."No,thanks."...The thought of stepping out there like this-"(95). This quote tells u ...more
Christy Rosso
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christy Rosso
Genre: Novel in Verse
Bingham, K. (2007). Shark girl. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
Format: Print
Selection process: NoveList

Jane Arrowood, aged 15, is the victim of a shark attack in this novel in verse by Kelly Bingham set in California. Jane quickly becomes known as “Shark Girl” after she loses her arm to a shark while swimming at a local beach near her Santa Clarita home. Jane’s brother Michael saves her life, creating a tourniquet and carrying her to s
Jane (15) is an artist, but she loses her arm when she is attacked by a shark while swimming. Her brother rescues her, and she falls into a coma. After she wakes up, she finds that her arm has been amputated above the elbow. It takes her weeks to heal after the operation, and the ordeal changes her forever. She can’t stop thinking about the man who stood on the beach recording the whole incident with his video camera as it happened – that he watched, that he did nothing to help her, that he late ...more
Abby Johnson
This novel in verse tells the story of Jane, an artistic high schooler whose life changes completely when she loses her right arm in a shark attack. A bystander videotapes the event and it's shown on the news. Suddenly strangers from all over the country are sending her cards and flowers, acting like they're her new best friend, like they understand her. In reality, Jane shrinks from all the attention and seems to abandon the things that gave her joy before the accident. Little things like crack ...more
L11-Mary Utterback
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 520-poetry
This is not a genre that I am typically drawn to, but I thought this story sounded very interesting. This story is about a 15 year old girl named Jane Arrowood. She is on the beach one day with her brother and her mother and she decides to take a swim. Little did she know that this decision would change her life forever.

Shortly after entering the water she is attacked by a shark. She ends up in the hospital and has to have her arm amputated. This story is told in free verse and authentically ca
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The moment I opened Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham, I was hooked. I love books about shark attacks and/or recovering from a shark attack, so of course I had to read this. The plot was great, but I was a little disappointed with the format of this book. It's written in a way that almost makes it seem like the book consisted of a bunch of poems. However, I would still highly recommend this book. It was about the recovery, emotionally and physically, of 15 year old Jane Arrowood after she was attacke ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This book reminded me of this film that came out when I was in the eighth grade called Soul Surfer. The main character of Shark Girl has it all: a brilliant artistic talent, lots of friends, a life free from sadness and stress... until a vicious shark attack takes it all away. Starting over won't be easy, but she's still determined as ever to be her own person. This young adult novel has much more to it than meets the eye, told in a number of different formats so that you can piece together the ...more
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teens
Have you ever wanted to be famous? 15-year-old Jane thought she did, until in a moment, her life is changed forever. During a seemingly normal day at the beach, Jane is the victim of a shark attack. Although she survives, due to the severity of the attack, her right arm is amputated. Jane struggles to move on and is trying to forget that fateful day, but the attack is caught on tape, so it is played over and over again on TV. She is an instant celebrity, but does she really want to be known as t ...more
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This one surprised me. I loved it. I even cried. I really did.

This is a very well-written story of a girl who loses her arm in a shark attack. It's a novel-in-verse and I think that was the perfect format. The main character, Jane, is so incredibly real. She's angry, yes, but she's not bitter the whole time, and I love the way the author illustrates her growth and adjustment over time. She's the perfect protagonist in the sense that I think you're able to empathize with her big time. And this b
emma grace
A pretty good book; it is written in free-verse poetry with conversations between the main character and other characters to create a very unique style of book. The actual story was pretty good, although I felt like the author could have done something else to have it not echo the Bethany Hamilton story so much. Although there are major differences between the two, one, the girl in this book does not surf, and two, she lives in California instead of Hawaii. Also, I really enjoyed the new movie " ...more
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this while oceanside in Florida. Fortunately, it did not turn me off from swimming in the sea. I did not expect it to be written in free verse poetry, which made it a quick, easy read. I thought it would cover a longer period of time as the victim healed from the accident, but it really looks more at her stay in the hospital and her initial adjustments to life. The strongest part of the book was how she learned through her friendship with a spirited young boy (who had lost his leg in an a ...more
Jul 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel written in verse. Its conversational toned is enhanced book the verse and I particularly enjoyed Jane's debates with herself. The book traces the life of a teenage girl whose arm is bitten off by a shark and her journey to adjust to her changed situation. It explores the impact of the media and public sympathy, sibling and parental relationships and friendships, psychology and rehabilitation.
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
A good, quick read. The entire thing is written in poetry/conversations/letters so it goes by pretty fast. But really it wouldn't make a difference if it was written in poetry or pros, because it would sound the same either way... Anyway, other than that, the story was over all good and believable. I felt like the end wasn't really satisfactory; it felt like there were still a few issues that were never really resolved. But over all, it was pretty good.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Soooooooo good!!!!!!!!

You totally relate to Jane (as much as is possible, anyhow) and understand how it must feel.

It's amazingly well-written.


Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book. I did not read it, I savored it. My hope is that kids will grab up this book when they see that there are not that many words on the page (it is mostly written in verse)and discover what can be done with the English language. Bingham transmits her wonderful powers of observation into the perfect choice of words, and crafts this story of loss and change into one that is not so much read as felt. Warning: some PG language.
May 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! I started it and finished it all on the same night. It is so well written, and the voice and emotion of the main character is so real. Kelly Bingham uses newspaper articles, journal entries, and letters in her book. I hightly recommend this book! It doesn't hurt that it's a super quick read.
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone!
'Twas amazing. Awesome story, great, unforgettable characters, witty writing and loads of emotion.
The only problem was that the verse was very blunt and it skipped lines in what seemed like random places, but this really didn't mess up the awesomeness that is Shark Girl at all, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"None of us knew,
None of us know now.
Life is what it is,
at any second.
A snapshot.
Nothing more.


the trick is learning
to live the moment
celebrating our

the freedom

of not knowing."

-Shark Girl
Jake Castaneda
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shark Girl is a book written by Kelly Bingham. In this book, we are going along on the journey through a girl's point of view, who went through a shark attack and lost her arm. The genre of this book is realistic fiction, as this could happen in real life, but this is not a true story. This book takes us into the eyes of a young teenager who goes through a life changing incident. I really did enjoy this book, and it really told me how life can be really unpredictable, and how somethings will nev ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
Book written in verse and letters.

The character was easy to relate to since she wasn't perfect and always believing in herself blindly (like the hawaii girl)

Overall, it was a quick great read.
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NZ Intermediate S...: Shark Girl 1 8 Jun 13, 2017 02:26PM  
wonderings 1 4 Oct 08, 2014 06:14PM  
JPL YA Reading Ch...: Verse novel: Shark Girl 1 3 Apr 23, 2013 06:07AM  
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Kelly Bingham is the author of the award-winning novel Shark Girl as well as Z Is for Moose, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Recipient of an MFA in writing for children and young adults, Kelly Bingham lives in Georgia.
More about Kelly Bingham...

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“Art is ment to travel from your heart to your head and out through your fingers...” 6 likes
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