Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark; Heather Lang, illustrated by Jordi Solano
Sharks. Frightening, predatory, one of the most dangerous ocean dwellers, right? One little girl didn’t think so and she was determined to discover the truth…
Eugenie Clark loved spending her days at the New York Aquarium gazing through the glass at the sharks. While most feared them, she was drawn to them. She was sure that there was more to them than just their fearsome reputation. The little shark-loving girl would go on to set up her own research laboratory, carry out ground-breaking research and redefine understanding of sharks…
Swimming with Sharks is an interesting biography about Eugenie Clark and her ground-breaking scientific studies of sharks. From days spent looking through the glass and sharing her excitement for sharks with anyone and everyone who would listen at the New York Aquarium to becoming the go-to science expert and earning the moniker the ‘Shark Lady’.
Clark’s remarkable story is one of following your dreams and passions. Often in the face of adversity - her own mother thought she had better career prospects as a secretary and she was living in a society that did not view women capable of becoming scientists or explorers - Clark was determined and courageous. Her story is a wonderful message to children, follow your dreams and your passions, with hard-work and self-belief you’ll get there.
I had never heard of Eugenie Clark before I picked up this book and my own views of sharks are largely influenced by the film Jaws. Her story makes for an incredibly fascinating read, not only does it cover the work that she was involved in but it also addresses misconceptions and misunderstandings about sharks. The illustrations by Jordi Solano immerse readers into the life of a person obsessed with sharks, from shark posters on the walls to close encounters at the research laboratory to murky and mysterious deep sea dives. Faux hand-written notes often crop up with simple facts such as ‘sharks are clever’ and ‘most sharks are timid’.
Back matter includes a detailed author’s note that provides further information about the life and times of Eugenie Clark. An additional page is specifically dedicated to sharks and covers the issues that they face and their important role in our ecosystem.
Environmentalist, oceanographer and trail-blazing fish scientist, Eugenie Clark’s story will captivate any child interested in sharks and will hopefully provide inspiration for future generations of shark advocates.
Recommended for 6+.