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Close to Shore

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About the Author

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times and a National Magazine Award finalist, Michael Capuzzo has been a feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Miami Herald. His stories have also appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Life, and Reader's Digest. He lives with his wife and two children in rural New Jersey.


Michael Capuzzo presents Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916, an adaptation of his 2001 book for adults, Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in the Age of Innocence. In chronicling the first documented shark attacks on swimmers, which occurred along the Jersey shore in 1916, the work also provides a look at early-20th-century life, with special attention paid to leisure pursuits. Photos, maps and period newspaper clippings illustrate the text. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Gr 6-10-An adaptation of Capuzzo's adult book, Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence (Broadway, 2001). During the summer of 1916, just as railroad travel enabled city dwellers to make day-trips to the seashore and swimming in the ocean became popular, bathers along the East Coast were frightened away by a series of vicious attacks in the water. During a one-month period, three men and one boy were killed. Initial opinions of the attacker ranged from sea turtles to killer whales or swordfish, before it was determined to be the work of a rogue white shark. Capuzzo describes the shark's quest to satiate his hunger with the flesh of humans, sometimes verging close to anthropomorphism as he builds an atmosphere of suspense about the creature, its wanderings and its means of attack. The menacing cover of a gaping shark's mouth, the addition of black-and-white photos and newspaper clippings, and the suspenseful writing add to the accessibility of this work for young people. There are no footnotes, but an explanation of the sources used to compile this account is offered along with a sampling of books consulted. Peter Benchley's Shark Trouble (Random, 2002) and Thomas B. Allen's Shark Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (Lyons, 2001) offer wider-ranging examples of shark attacks, along with ways to avoid them.-Pam Spencer Holley, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"A remarkable read . . . a flash photo of the moment when our fascination with sharks transformed from awe into mortal dread." --Entertainment Weekly "The most perfect beach book ever. Better than Jaws-an amazing story, terrific writing, and the Gilded Age setting is fascinating. I loved it." --Linda Marotta, Shakespeare & Company, New York City "Popular history meets popular science in this thrilling shark story. As in Seabiscuit, the author interweaves social history with a suspenseful story told from different characters' points of view, including that most fascinating character of all: the shark itself." --Arsen Kashkashian, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colorado "This riveting book skillfully combines historical fact with shark science and lore. A first-rate thriller that's all the more spine-tingling because it really happened." --Anne Edkins, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, California "A riveting account of the terrorizing shark attacks [of 1916]. Meticulously researched, it provides fascinating information about the history of the great white shark as well as a social commentary of America during World War I. Informative, entertaining, enthralling." --Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, Rhode Island

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