Formerly Shark Girl

Formerly Shark Girl

4.8 5
by Kelly Bingham
     
 

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Jane Arrowood, otherwise known as Shark Girl, has been living with just one arm for over a year. Now she’s searching for a new normal.

It’s been a year since the shark attack that took Jane’s arm, and with it, everything she used to take for granted. Her dream of becoming an artist is on the line, and everything now seems out of reach,

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Overview

Jane Arrowood, otherwise known as Shark Girl, has been living with just one arm for over a year. Now she’s searching for a new normal.

It’s been a year since the shark attack that took Jane’s arm, and with it, everything she used to take for granted. Her dream of becoming an artist is on the line, and everything now seems out of reach, including her gorgeous, kind tutor, Max Shannon. While a perfectly nice guy from her science class is clearly interested in Jane — removing her fear that no one ever would want a one-armed girl — Jane can’t stop thinking about Max. But is his interest romantic? Or does he just feel sorry for her? Formerly Shark Girl picks up where Kelly Bingham’s artful, honest debut novel left off, following Jane as she deals with a career choice (should she "give back" by trying to become a nurse, or is art an equally valid calling?) along with family changes and her first real romance — all while remembering who she was before she was Shark Girl and figuring out who she is now.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Bingham hits the mark with her completely realistic portrait of a strong girl coping with emotional difficulties, taking advantage of her format to include a lyricism that might be lost in straight prose. An absorbing, genuine and uplifting tale of a strong girl making difficult decisions.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Children's Literature - Veronica Bartles
This sequel to Shark Girl picks up where Jane's story left off. It has been a year since the shark attack that took most of Jane's right arm, and she is adapting. It is her senior year, and as the future looms, Jane is still undecided about what to do with the rest of her life. She always wanted to be an artist, and art is still her first love, but since surviving the shark attack, she feels like she should do something more meaningful with the life she has been given. Something such as nursing, where she can give back to the world and show gratitude for the care she received. She has decided to apply to four colleges: two for art and two for nursing. That way, if she only gets into one, her decision will be made for her. But when all four schools accept her, Jane realizes that it will not be that easy. With the help and support of her friends and family, especially Max, her former crush who has recently reappeared in her life, Jane is able to find her way to the choice that is right for her. Bingham weaves poetry and letters together to tell a poignant story of moving forward when life does not go as planned. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
Kirkus Reviews
This sequel to Shark Girl (2007) chronicles Jane's recovery from her injuries. The verse format enhances the affecting story as Jane struggles with boyfriends and with her future: Will she become a nurse or continue as an artist even though she has lost her drawing hand? Her artwork continues to improve, but she feels obligated to give back to others what she received from the doctors and nurses who saved her life when she lost her right arm to a shark. She receives letters, interspersed throughout the book with no comment, from strangers who have been following her story. Do these influence her? Meanwhile she struggles in her science class, finally hiring a tutor who turns out to be Max, "the heartthrob who got away" in the last book. Max loves swimming, however, and when Jane decides to go with him to the pool, she finds that she can't cope emotionally with being near water again. Meanwhile she faces another difficult decision: whether or not to undergo more hated surgery to cure the neuroma that's causing excruciating pain in her phantom limb. Bingham hits the mark with her completely realistic portrait of a strong girl coping with emotional difficulties, taking advantage of her format to include a lyricism that might be lost in straight prose. An absorbing, genuine and uplifting tale of a strong girl making difficult decisions. (Fiction/verse. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Told in narrative verse, this coming-of-age story showcases a teen's mental turmoil and, ultimately, her strength of character. High-school senior Jane Arrowood may have healed physically from the loss of her arm in a shark attack a year ago, but she still grapples with emotional scars in this sequel to Shark Girl (Candlewick, 2007). She struggles as she tries to decide which path to take: continue her love of art as a painter, or try becoming a nurse-a way of paying back those who saved her life. Poems are interspersed with "fan mail," which is condescending and inspiring by turns. Some of the letters say things like, "Seeing you makes me realize how lucky I am," while others simply offer encouragement. No one is more surprised than Jane by a budding new relationship with college freshman Max Shannon. She discovers that he's dealing with troubles of his own as he's chosen to give up going away to school to care for his mentally troubled father. Recommend this novel to teens looking for something that falls somewhere between the poetic melodrama of Ellen Hopkins and the soul-searching realistic fiction of Sarah Dessen.—Madigan McGillicuddy, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta, GA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763653620
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,158,848
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

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 Ellijay, Georgia.

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