Jan 23, 2015LibrLdyMapleValley rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
The Shark Attacks of 1916 is a story based on actual events that took place along the Jersey shore during the summer. Apparently there was a widespread belief at the time that sharks would not attack people. They believed that sharks were "tame" and cowardly and if someone splashed around and startled them they would go away. Then in 1916 people were educated about the true wildness of one of Mother Nature's top predators. Four swimmers were killed that summer and several more were injured. This is the story of one of the survivors.
Chet Roscoe is living with his uncle in a small town that is 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean that hot July of 1916. Why should they be worried about the newspaper articles they keep seeing about shark attacks along the Jersey shore? How could a shark get anywhere near their swimming hole? When Chet has a very close call with what is now thought to have been a bull shark he tries to convince the townsfolk that there's a giant shark in the creek but everyone just laughs it off. The only person who does believe Chet is the local old crank who most people believe to be crazy. Between the two of them they have to find a way to make people believe before it's too late.
This book is part of a newer series called I Survived and is written for the early chapter book audience. But it will also appeal to the upper elementary kids who may be struggling with reading. It has a great combination of high interest topics, accessible writing and an excellent author (Lauren Tarshis of Emma-Jean Lazarus fame).