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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book tells the true story of a girl who was attacked by a shark and loses her arm. In the book, Bethany remembers seeing a shadow of gray and then feeling a sharp pull on her arm. She then witnesses the water around her transform to red with her blood. There are lots of references to the Christian faith and Bethany quotes scriptures from the Bible. The message of Bethany's story is adversity can be overcome with optimism, and having faith will lead to success.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
This is the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a 13-year old girl who lost her arm to a shark. She describes the frightening attack, but also talks about how she persevered after her injury. Only a month later she learned to surf again -- and then returned to pro surfing. Her story also inspired the movie of the same name.
Is it any good?
This is an inspirational story that may have special appeal to Christian tweens and teens. But even kids from different faiths will admire Bethany's strength and appreciate her message: adversity can be overcome with optimism, and having faith will lead to success. Bethany proves that a can-do attitude often leads to success -- and her true life story will give readers plenty to think and talk about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the book's message about facing life’s challenges. Do you think you'd be able to respond to a life-changing tragedy the way Bethany does? How do you think she manages it?
This book inspired the movie of the same name. Families may want to compare and contrast the two. Which made a stronger impression on you?
For kids who love stories about real people
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.