Meet Bethany. Get inspired.
Growing up in Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton loved to surf. But one day, she was in her favorite place, out on the waves, when a tiger shark suddenly attacked. Thirteen-year-old Bethany lost her left arm.
As she fought to recover, Bethany wondered: Would she ever surf again?
Follow Bethany as she got back on her board and fearlessly chased her surfing dreams. With the strength of her family and faith behind her, Bethany knew she could become not only a professional athlete, but a champion and a role model.
This highly accessible and narrative biography includes full-color photos and educational info!
About the Author
Jenni L. Walsh's passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings. She is a proud graduate of Villanova University, and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband, daughter, son, and newfypoo. She also writes historical fiction for adults and children. Learn more about Jenni and her books at jennilwalsh.com.
Read an Excerpt
Her whole family was with her. Even her dad took off work waiting tables at the Princeville Hotel to be there. "Bethany," he said, "I'm sure you can do whatever you put your mind to."
Boy, did she need that pep talk. It was easy to lie in a hospital bed or sit in front of a camera and proclaim she'd surf again. Those were just words. Now she had to act. Bethany had to actually surf, and she felt she had a lot riding on it. Failing at one of the most important things to her was beyond terrifying. But she also needed this day to go well to give her hope for the future, that maybe, just maybe, she'd be able to surf competitively again.
No pressure or anything.
Her mom pulled Blue Crush off the road to park, and Bethany navigated a small trail until her feet hit the sand. There, she stopped, excitement and nerves pumping through her body.
Sandbars had formed throughout the water.
That was a good thing. The sand affects how a wave is going to break, and this spot, Bethany thought, is about as good as it ever gets.
Her surfing buddies picked a good one today. Her eyes danced from girl to girl -- Kristen, Camille, Jackie, some in the water and some on the beach -- and then onto Alana.
"Bethany!" Alana called, and ran to Bethany. "You're here!"
Yes, she was.
And, thankfully, their little secret spot meant that the press was not. There wouldn't be headlines splashed everywhere about Bethany attempting her first surf after the attack.
She stretched, watching the water to learn the patterns of the waves. It was a special kind of skill, and Bethany was good at "reading" the ocean.
She inhaled the familiar salty air. "You can do this," Bethany said aloud.
"You can," Alana echoed.
Her brother Noah held up his video camera. "And I'll capture every second of it."
Bethany laughed, not sure if that was a good or bad thing.
The afternoon sun warmed her face. The water called to her.
It was go time.