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Formerly Shark Girl

Jane Arrowood, otherwise known as Shark Girl, has been living with just one arm for over a year. Now she s searching for a new normal. It s been a year since the shark attack that took Jane s arm, and with it, everything she used to take for granted. Her dream of becoming an artist is on the line, and everything now seems out of reach, including her gorgeous, kind tutor, Max Shannon. While a perfectly nice guy from her science class is clearly interested in Jane removing her fear that no one ever would want a one-armed girl Jane can t stop thinking about Max. But is his interest romantic? Or does he just feel sorry for her? "Formerly Shark Girl" picks up where Kelly Bingham s artful, honest debut novel left off, following Jane as she deals with a career choice (should she "give back" by trying to become a nurse, or is art an equally valid calling?) along with family changes and her first real romance all while remembering who she was before she was Shark Girl and figuring out who she is now."
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About the Author

Kelly Bingham is the author of the award-winning novel Shark Girl as well as Z Is for Moose, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Recipient of an MFA in writing for children and young adults, Kelly Bingham lives in Ellijay, Georgia.


Bingham hits the mark with her completely realistic portrait of a strong girl coping with emotional difficulties, taking advantage of her format to include a lyricism that might be lost in straight prose. An absorbing, genuine and uplifting tale of a strong girl making difficult decisions.--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Multifaceted supportive characters, both young people and adults, add heft to this novel about a courageous young woman intent on re-creating the richness of the life she led before it was so rudely interrupted.--Booklist Online Recommend this novel to teens looking for something that falls somewhere between the poetic melodrama of Ellen Hopkins and the soul-searching realistic fiction of Sarah Dessen.--School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Told in narrative verse, this coming-of-age story showcases a teen's mental turmoil and, ultimately, her strength of character. High-school senior Jane Arrowood may have healed physically from the loss of her arm in a shark attack a year ago, but she still grapples with emotional scars in this sequel to Shark Girl (Candlewick, 2007). She struggles as she tries to decide which path to take: continue her love of art as a painter, or try becoming a nurse-a way of paying back those who saved her life. Poems are interspersed with "fan mail," which is condescending and inspiring by turns. Some of the letters say things like, "Seeing you makes me realize how lucky I am," while others simply offer encouragement. No one is more surprised than Jane by a budding new relationship with college freshman Max Shannon. She discovers that he's dealing with troubles of his own as he's chosen to give up going away to school to care for his mentally troubled father. Recommend this novel to teens looking for something that falls somewhere between the poetic melodrama of Ellen Hopkins and the soul-searching realistic fiction of Sarah Dessen.-Madigan McGillicuddy, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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