These toothy fish have captured people’s imaginations for hundreds of years, with many depicting them as monsters, preying on innocents. While records show that shark attacks are extremely rare, their population continues to diminish due to accidents, overfishing, and damage to their habitats. For more information and stories about sharks for all ages, peruse the titles featured below.
Hark! A Shark!: All About Sharks by Bonnie Worth – The Cat introduces beginning readers to all kinds of sharks! From the smallest to the largest, the most notorious to the most obscure, the Cat explains why sharks have lots of teeth but no bones; how their tough skin helps them swim fast and stay clean; how pores along the sides of their bodies help them sense prey; that they have more to fear from us than we do from them, and much, much more!
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang – Before Eugenie Clark’s groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist in the 1940s she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname “The Shark Lady.”
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist – In this spoof, when Mama tells her three little fish that it’s time to seek their fortunes, Jim builds a house of seaweed, Tim builds a house of sand, but it’s up to Kim to find the house that will stop the big bad shark’s munching and crunching.
The Line Tender by Kate Allen – Following a tragedy that further alters the course of her life, twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart decides to continue the shark research her marine biologist mother left unfinished when she died years earlier.
Fins by Randy Wayne White – Marine biologist Doc Ford needs some assistance protecting sharks and enlists the help of three kids. Together they form Sharks, Inc. and are given an important assignment: to set out each day on their small fishing boat in hopes of tagging sharks for Doc’s research. The trio certainly isn’t looking for trouble, but when they come face to face with danger, survival requires them to rely on each of their own unique gifts, and especially on one another.
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams – Even though sharks can be scary, we need them to keep the oceans healthy. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, many shark species are in danger of extinction, and that can cause big problems in the oceans and even on land. What would happen if this continued and sharks disappeared completely?
Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Juliet Eilperin – In this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why, after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures.
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor – One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly: she is kissed by the boy of her dreams and she is bitten by a blacktip shark.
Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her…
Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-million-year-old Fossil by Susan Ewing – Two men, independently fascinated with the Helicoprion, a mysterious, Paleozoic shark fossil, join forces with an unconventional group of like-minded collaborators to solve the puzzle of the creature’s unique spiral of teeth.
Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 by Michael Capuzzo – Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly re-creates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history.
The Shallows (2016) – A mere 200 yards from shore, a lone surfer is attacked by a shark and her short journey to safety becomes the ultimate contest of wills.
Shark Dive (2017) – Get as up close and personal with sharks as you could ever dream in this documentary! As an award-winning wildlife cinematographer and on-air talent for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, Andy Brandy Casagrande is helping revolutionize the way the world sees the ocean’s top predators.
If you would like to learn more about shark conservation efforts, please visit the World Wildlife Fund, or choose one of the following titles:
Shark Quest: Protecting the Ocean’s Top Predators by Karen Romano Young – Readers will learn all about sharks and the human relationship with them, including how researchers study sharks at sea and how students can get involved in learning more about sharks and helping to protect these incredible creatures.
The Great Shark Rescue: Saving the Whale Sharks by Sandra Markle – Facing threats from commercial fishing as well as climate change, whale sharks were categorized as endangered in 2016. Despite the marine sanctuaries set aside to protect whale sharks, their population is still decreasing. But new conservation methods, which include enlisting volunteers to spot them as well as tagging and remotely following them–are giving experts hope.
*All synopses/covers from GoodReads/IMDB.
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