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Review of Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites 
of California’s Farallon Islands

roy_neigborhood sharksstar2 Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands
by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author
Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    
48 pp.
9/14    978-1-59643-874-3    $17.99    g

Look closely at the cover of this impressive account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast: that bright red in the illustration is blood trailing from a chunk of freshly killed immature elephant seal — and a signal that Roy’s book will fully examine the sometimes chilling, always fascinating details of what makes this animal a predator. The dramatic main narrative describes a shark swimming and hunting, while well-integrated information-rich sections tell more about the biology and ecology of these sharks and about the scientists who study their role in the Farallon Island ecosystem. The explanations are thorough, even, and informative and benefit from excellent analogies (in both text and illustration) to elucidate such topics as sharks’ streamlined bodies and visual acuity. Roy’s illustrations masterfully employ color and perspective: blood-reds flow through the blues and grays of the sometimes calm, sometimes roiling ocean. Don’t skip the endnotes, which include behind-the-scenes information on Roy and the research she conducted for the book.

From the September/October 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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Comments

  1. Reminds me of Nic Bishop’s books for the same age. I LOVE that this kind of non-fiction is being published today: not just for the awe-inspiring photography, but also for the unique narrative approach. Non-fiction doesn’t have to mean a litany of discrete facts–and, in fact, children have been shown to develop better comprehension skills from reading books with a fluid narrative style. Yay!

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