Soul Surfer, by Bethany Hamilton, is a true story about 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton, a competitive surfer, who was attacked by a shark as she was surfing near her home in Kauai, Hawaii. Her left arm was completely severed by the shark. Bethany shares what happened that Halloween morning, as well as how she recovered and coped after the attack.
She places a lot of faith in God, and credits Him for helping her get through the attack. Her perseverance and love for surfing will inspire many tweens, teens (and others!). Bethany’s demeanor is a nice break from all of the Hollywood tween and teen celebrities that we are inundated with. She’s really just a “normal” kid who loves God, family, friends, and of course, surfing.
Readers will also enjoy many color photos (many taken by her brother) of Bethany and her friends and family, both before and after her attack. There’s even a photo of the shark that attacked her.
This is a good book. It’s quick, enjoyable, and inspirational.
Themes: surfing, faith, God, family, friendship, perseverance,
Reading level: 6.0
Interest level: Grades 6-12
Link to Harvest Park Library catalog: Soul Surfer