Further Reading: Shark Attacks


Today, CNN published an illustrated guide to surviving a shark attack. Though useful, the guide provokes new anxieties for we landlubbers about to embark on beach vacations. Luckily, the following titles, linked to their excerpted Booklist reviews, provide superior accounts of shark attacks to soothe us—or prepare us for the inevitable.


Bear v. Shark, by Chris Bachelder

It’s the near future (we still have SUVs, but now our TVs don’t have “off” buttons), and the U.S. is obsessed by one question: given a water level that would allow a shark to swim without keeping a bear from deft maneuvering, which one would win if they had a fight—the bear or the shark? The answer lies in the sovereign nation of Las Vegas, where bear and shark will go fin to paw in a rematch (the shark won the first time around).


Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks, by Juliet Eilperin

Sharks are dangerous, but so are we. According to Washington Post environmental reporter Eilperin, these ancient fish have more to fear, for while few people ever die from shark attacks, entire species of sharks are dying because of trophy hunting, industrial fishing, habitat destruction, and the lucrative international trade in shark fins.






 Everything Is Teeth, by Evie Wyld, illustrated by Joe Sumner

The story and illustrations in Everything Is Teeth are so inseparable, it’s hard to believe they don’t share a creator. In reality, though, novelist Wyld’s memories of a girlhood spent obsessing over sharks are the spare story underlying Sumner’s amazingly varied images. As a child, Londoner Evie spent holidays visiting relatives in Australia, her summers full of family time and, notably, the ever-present fear of shark attacks.


 Mr. Peanut, by Adam Ross

In this powerful first novel, Ross delivers one scorching scene after another showing the dark side of marriage. David and Alice Pepin have been married for 13 years, and despite the fact that David continually declares that he has been in love with Alice ever since he first spotted her in a film class on Alfred Hitchcock, he is continually imagining her death via airplane crashes, carjackings, burglaries gone bad, shark attacks, and “convenient acts of God.”






Surviving the Shark: A Surfer’s Terrifying Tale of a Brutal Attack by a Great White, by Jonathan Kathrein and Margaret Kathrein

Sixteen-year-old Jonathan Kathrein was headed to the Red Triangle, an area of northern California coast that is home to the world’s largest concentration of great white sharks, and within hours, Jonathan would become the next shark-attack statistic. What follows is a well-written, first-person account of the terror and pain of a shark attack and of the importance of fighting back against the shark


 Warriors in the Crossfire, by Nancy Bo Flood

The novel opens with friends Joseph and Kento fending off a shark attack while spearfishing in the middle of the night, a gripping scene that isn’t even close to the book’s most intense sequence. Set on the island of Saipan at the end of WWII, this is the story of natives who were caught between the ruthlessness of the Japanese and American armies.



About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the former Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist.

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