Monday, April 06, 2015

Surrounded By Sharks

Surrounded By Sharks 
By Michael Northrop
New York : Scholastic Press, 2014, Ages 12-15

On the first day of a family vacation, a teenage boy, Davey, wakes up early and decides to take his favorite book outside to find a quiet reading area. He finds a secluded beach with an old, weathered sign that says, "No Sw mm ng!" Davey does not intend to swim, but ends up wading out into the water and being pulled out to sea by a rip current. When his family wakes up they are alarmed to find that Davey is not there.

The author writes each new chapter from the perspective of different characters in the novel. He explains how the story unfolds from Davey's perspective in the water. Then the perspective shifts to Brando, Davey's younger brother, and how he feels as his family is searching for his brother. The author also writes chapters from the perspective of Drew, a teenage girl vacationing on the same island, and even, the shark as it is searching the sea and competing for it's next meal.

The cover of the book is a deep blue color with many sharks swimming around the title. The dark, ominous cover could be very intriguing for the reader as it suggests the horrors that they would face if they were in that situation and encourages them to find out what the characters go through as they are "surrounded by sharks."

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others. I feel that children between seventh and ninth grade would probably enjoy this book the most; however, I feel it would be appropriate for other ages as well, considering that I am a college student that could not put the book down until I found out what happened next. It could teach children to not go anywhere without telling anyone where they are, whether they are on vacation, near home, or anywhere. This book is an all around great book. From the subtle foreshadowing that leaves one in suspense, fearing for Davey's life, to the devotion of the family to find him, anyone could love this story. 

Review by Stephanie Dodge

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