Formerly Shark Girl
By Kelly Bingham
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763653620, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
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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.
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)