Marvelous Mondays: Neighborhood Sharks


While not hot-off-the-press new, Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy is new enough to let me write about it on this Marvelous Monday. It came out last fall, but didn’t come to my attention until now when I was preparing for one of our learning experiences. The book is a wonderfully arranged informational/picture book about the annual gathering of great white sharks near the Farallon islands off the coast of San Francisco.


The book starts off with a narrative style describing the sharks hunting their unsuspecting prey, and then transitions into informational style sections about how exactly sharks operate and how they actually hunt. This hybrid style is fantastically engrossing as well as educational, with great, easy to understand information accompanying great illustrations and a thrilling storyline. The book continues to alternate between these more scientific nonfiction sections and more easy-reading little asides about sharks hunting.

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The text and illustrations are awesome because they do a great job of being great examples of two very different styles of writing, and the illustrations also do an amazing job of creating captivating full-page spreads and also containing well-done informational graphics. The book would probably work really well with grades 3-5, and could be used for individual reading about a topic that might be very of interest to a student or even used as a read aloud item for a unit on sharks or the like. I think it is a very versatile piece of literature that any teacher could easily find a use for in their classroom. The notes at the end about studying sharks by the author are also just a great addition to an already top notch book.


P.S. The end pages are incredible, just throwing it out there…


-Peter Burke


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