(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Davey Tsering isn't really a beach person. Still, the 13-year-old landlubber is not going to waste his first day on a remote island in the Florida Keys sleeping in! That might be some people's idea of fun (his parents and little brother, for instance), but Davey's got a better plan. Packing along his favorite Tolkien fantasy, he sneaks out of the hotel room to find a secluded reading spot. Figuring he'll be back before his family wakes up, he doesn't bother to leave a note. Davey finds a perfect stretch of hidden beach and settles in for a quiet, leisurely morning of reading—just him and his buddy, J.R.R.
The faded No Swimming sign on his beach doesn't bother Davey as he has no intention of swimming. He's just going to wade a bit to cool off. What he doesn't count on is the tide coming in or the fierce undertow that yanks him off his feet. Suddenly, he's floundering in deep water, unable to swim back to shore. Davey prays for rescue, but as the hours drag on, his hope fades. If no one knows where he is, how will they ever find him? As he fights to stay afloat, alert, and away from ocean predators, the most deadly of sea creatures start to circle ...
Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop is the kind of book that turns reluctant readers into repeat library customers. It's a tense, action-packed story that will keep kids riveted. This fast-paced survival story shows how ordinary people can display extraordinary courage in the face of impossible difficulties. It also teaches some subtle lessons about responsibility, making smart choices, and respecting nature's awesome, unexpected power. Mostly, though, Surrounded by Sharks is just an exciting, breath-stealing yarn. Not only will kids enjoy the tale, but they might learn something from it—for instance, did you know the scent of human urine is just as enticing to a shark as blood? I had no idea. Recommend Surrounded by Sharks to the reluctant reader in your life; they'll be mesmerized by it, guaranteed.
(Readalikes: Reminds me of I Survived: The Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis and a little of the YA novel Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for violence, blood/gore, and scenes of peril
To the FTC, with love: Another library