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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shark Week

And, alas, it's time to say farewell to Shark Week, a truly odd and wonderful pop culture phenomenon. Fun Facts! The Discovery Channel headquarters are in Silver Spring, and for Shark Week, they bring out Chompy! It's kinda the greatest thing ever.

Anyway, Tracy Jordan tells us to live every week like it's Shark Week. If you need some more sharks after this, check out these books:

    

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham. It was supposed to be a nice swim with her family, but after a shark bites off her arm, nothing will be the same for Jane. She used to be a talented artist-- now just has a fake arm and a lot of pain and itching where it used to be. Told in poems, email, and newspaper clippings, follow it with Formerly Shark Girl.

Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 by Michael Capuzzo. In 1916, a rogue Great White shark started attacking swimmers on the New Jersey shore. Even more shocking, it swam up a river inland, and attacked swimmers there. Capuzzo recreates the glitz of the Gilded Age and the terror of that summer. This is a younger readers edition of the out-of-print Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in An Age of Innocence.

Jaws by Peter Benchley. The book that inspired the movie was inspired by the New Jersey 1916 shark attacks.

    

Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks by Kenneth Mallory. Pete Klimley is a marine biologist who studies hammerheads. Specifically, he looks at their migratory patterns while educating people about the reality of sharks-- they're not the ruthless monsters we all fear.

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy. Enid's pretty sure that her boyfriend Wick is cheating on her, so she follows him on vacation, which involves stowing away on a yacht. Things go from bad worse as, before she comes out of hiding, the ship is caught in a storm and wrecked, leaving them all to try to survive on the open sea.

Stuff That Scares Your Pants Off!: The Science Scoop on more than 30 Terrifying Phenomena! by Glenn Murphy. Murphy looks at many things that people fear, sometimes for good reason, and but usually not. Murphy gives us worst-case scenarios, explains why we're afraid of such things, gives us the numbers and probabilities to show we probably shouldn't be afraid, and then tells us all about the things we don't fear, but are much more likely to kill us (like, our cars.)

    

Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton and Rick Bundschuh. Hamilton is a competitive surfer--still competing even after she a shark attacked her on her board and she lost her arm. In this memoir, she recounts how her faith in God and her love of surfing helped her to heal and get back into the water.

Water Baby by Ross Campbell. In this graphic novel, Brody's a surfer with major issues ever since a shark bit off her leg. In addition to her physical and mental recovery (not going well) she's still surrounded by all her surfer friends and her ex-boyfriend has moved into her couch. It's time to drive him back to New York where he belongs.

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. This spare classic is about an old fisherman, Santiago, and his struggle to catch a giant Marlin, which is ultimately eaten by sharks. It's an allegory and most teens will have to read it in English class.

For more shark books, check out our list earlier this week about the landing of the Kon-Tiki-- most of those titles involve shark-infested waters.

What shark books would you add?

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