ARC Review: Shark Lady, a Children’s Biography of an Awesome Lady in STEM

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Little me loved, above all things, the water. I caught tadpoles and minnows bare-handed, dug up cool worms at the beach, and dreamed of dolphins and sea turtles. I always said I wanted to grow up to be a marine biologist.

This is the book I wish someone had read to young me.

Shark Lady, the next science-themed children’s book from zoologist Jess Keating and 32204108Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, is everything you could want from a children’s nonfiction book.

It tells the story of Eugenie Clark, an inspiring researcher who revolutionized our understanding of sharks. Despite years of staring in awe at Shark Week programming, I had no idea about her prior to receiving this book. The erasure of the epic stories of women in science is all too common, but books like this one are going to be the cure.

Keating takes us on a journey all the way from the indomitable Eugenie’s childhood of being fascinated with sharks to the amazing discoveries she makes after years of hard work, proving she isn’t the lesser of her male colleagues, despite their prejudices. The science in the book is interesting and accessible to children, and–even better–it’s fun! I love that this book shows how the path of science led Clark to countless wonders and adventures.

Illustrator Marta Álvarez Miguens brings that wonder and exploration to life with colorful, satisfying depictions. The swirling sharks and fish of young Eugenie’s imagination are sure to delight any reader, and Miguens gets bonus points for including recognizable, accurate representation of some specific animal species, not just generic fish. The lookdowns are my personal favorite!

Even putting aside her super scientist status, this book showed me that Eugenie Clark is a role model for all of us. Determined, hard working, and curious, Clark never quit on life; she even went scuba diving on her 92nd birthday! Thanks to Jess Keating, I have a new hero.


All in All…

  • 5/5 sea stars
  • Publication June 1, 2017, by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • 36 pages
  • For fans of Animal Planet, Shark Week, science, women in STEM, the oceans

I received this book free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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