Hazel Edwards's Reviews > The Shark Caller

The Shark Caller by Dianne Wolfer
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it was amazing

Initally the title intrigued. I'd never heard of the shark calling before. Then comes the beautifully choreographed story blending the local islander languages and traditions with a modern girl Izzy in a family drawing on dual cultures, equally. Izzy is a hero on a symbolic journey, who is tested. She's even carrying her dead twin brother's ashes back to the island to complete the ceremony.

10-12 year olds will be 'hooked' by the diving action and the island adventures.I liked the detail and felt I was there.

'Poetic' blending of fact and fantasy in the mixed formats and the content. An unusual book but I highly recommend it. The author Dianne Wolfer is an excellent researcher who respects her subjects. Wolfer's sister lived in PNG and it shows in the way the local words are slipped in, but explained in context within the story. Characterisation is compassionate and I especially liked how the mother-daughter relationship was portrayed, including extended family support from 'aunties' for the grieving mother who had lost her twin son in the freak diving accident. Wolfer's earlier 'Lighthouse Girl' gets my five stars too.

The story sounded authentic, especially the setting , food and diving action although Wolfer has invented a fictional New Ireland island. Enough drama to keep young readers involved. I intend recommending 'The Shark Caller' to family friends working in the Solomon Islands, as there is little easily accessible children's literature with local islander settings with which their children can identify. The need for diversity in literature is real, not just jargon.'The Shark Caller' could fit under several curriculum requirements and it should. A significant book, worth studying.

Wolfer's understated explanation of the mother and dad's marriage between cultures and subsequent separation , is written from a child's viewpoint, a child who inherits from both worlds. Wolfer sustains the viewpoint well.

This is the best book for the 10-12 ish age group that I have read this year. Highly commended for adults too.And it's a pleasure to savour the language.
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Reading Progress

September 11, 2016 – Started Reading
September 11, 2016 – Shelved
September 14, 2016 – Finished Reading

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