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