Jess Keating / Sourcebooks Jabberwocky / 40 pages
When Eugenie Clark was growing up, smart girls had few career choices. Secretary? Housewife? Sure. Marine biologist? Not for girls, she was told. But Clark would not be deterred. Since her first visit to an aquarium at age 9, Clark’s dream was to learn everything there was to know about her favorite animals—sharks. Shark Lady is a story of how one woman overcame misconceptions about both what girls can do and what sharks are like.
Clark’s childhood fascination with marine life in general and sharks in particular carried over into her adult life. Despite little encouragement, and even a rejection from one university who thought it was a waste to educate girls, Clark eventually earned a PhD in zoology. Throughout her studies she was told that studying sharks was pointless because sharks were just “mindless killers.” But Clark thought they were beautiful and she set out to prove they were smart, as well. Clark was the first scientist in the world to train sharks and even learned that they could remember their training for at least two months after. Her frequent scuba dives into open ocean also led her to find three new species of fish that had not been discovered before.
Beautifully illustrated, Shark Lady educates while it inspires. A “Shark Bites” section at the end contains “fin-tastic” shark facts to animate a future generation of marine biologists. Recommended by the publisher for ages 4 and up, Shark Lady teaches kids to follow their dreams, no matter what others say, and to see beauty where others may not.