It’s that time of year… too hot to be outside unless you’re in the water, so you stay in the A/C and marathon shark shows instead.
Began in 1988, Shark Week was originally devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks. In the 1990s, Discovery Channel got involved, sending its very best in videographers, photographers, and documentarians with top technology, capturing videos of sharks in their natural habitat to educate the public on one of the most misunderstood, and fascinating, creatures on Earth. Whose existence, in part, determines ours. At the top of the food chain, sharks keep our planet’s most important ecosystem healthy.
In celebration of Shark Week, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite fiction and nonfiction shark books for all ages.
Picture Books (Ages 4 and up)
Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname ‘Shark Lady’, as she become a fixture in the world of ocean conservation and shark research.
Dude! An ingenious picture book that tells a complex and hilarious story using only one word: dude, from the author of Caldecott honor book Creepy Carrots! Aaron Reynolds, and author/illustrator of Caldecott Medal book The Adventures of Beekle, Dan Santat. Dude! You have to read this book. It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who wants to be friends with them, too. But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.
Easy Readers (Ages 4-8)
Fly Guy Presents: Sharks Fly Guy is buzzzzing on over to the nonfiction genre! Award-winning author/illustrator Tedd Arnold brings nonfiction to life with the help of his very popular main character, Fly Guy. This engaging nonfiction reader combines the kid-friendly humor of Fly Guy with the high-interest topic of sharks! Fly Guy and Buzz introduce young readers to sharks with straightforward fun facts, humorous asides, and full-bleed photographs throughout.
Middle Grade (Ages 8-12)
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Based on true events! It’s the summer of 1916 and the Jersey shore is being terrorized by a Great White shark. Ten year-old Chet Roscow is captivated by the local news: a Great White shark has been attacking and killing people up and down the Atlantic Coast, not far from Chet’s hometown of Springfield, New Jersey. Then one day, swimming with his friends, Chet sees something in the water. . . Also in a graphic novel.
Go! Field Guide: Sharks Get to know one of the coolest creatures in the ocean, up close and personal. Dive into the weird and fascinating world of sharks with this guide to these fearsome and misunderstood animals. Packaged with lifelike model shark teeth, Go! Field Guide: Sharks features detailed photos and awesome facts for every reader.
Jaws The classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today.
When Peter Benchley wrote Jaws in the early 1970s, he meticulously researched all available data about shark behavior. Over the ensuing decades, Benchley was actively engaged with scientists and filmmakers on expeditions around the world as they expanded their knowledge of sharks. Also during this time, there was an unprecedented upswing in the number of sharks killed to make shark-fin soup, and Benchley worked with governments and nonprofits to sound the alarm for shark conservation. He encouraged each new generation of Jaws fans to enjoy his riveting tale and to channel their excitement into support and protection of these magnificent, prehistoric apex predators.
This edition of Jaws contains bonus content from Peter Benchley’s archives, including the original typed title page, a brainstorming list of possible titles, a letter from Benchley to producer David Brown with honest feedback on the movie adaptation, and excerpts from Benchley’s book Shark Trouble highlighting his firsthand account of writing Jaws, selling it to Universal Studios, and working with Steven Spielberg.
Happy Shark Week and happy reading!