SHADOW SHARK by Colin Thiele
Kirkus Star


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From an eminent Australian author (Storm Boy, Blue Fin), a thriller that delivers what it promises in an attention-grabbing jacket illustration of a monstrous shark looming over a frightened boy. From page 13 on, when old Scarface comes within inches of catching Joe and his cousin Meg swimming in the surf, each gripping episode evolves naturally from the one before it. A noted fisherman--George Lane--twice tries to capture Scarface: the first time the battle lasts for hours, ending when the line snaps; the second, the wily shark is on the attack and succeeds in getting his antagonists into the sea. Meg, Joe and Uncle Harry are wrecked when their boat burns, but they make their way to a nearby island; Harry is badly burned but survives, thanks to the kids' ingenuity and perseverance. Briefly but neatly worked into the story's action--and enriching the characterization--are Joe's need to become part of his uncle's family, his friendship with a stray dog, Harry's money troubles, and the cousins' growing friendship as they cooperate for the three days it takes to summon help. Notably, each disaster is precipitated by human error, forgiven as characters go on with the task at hand; and there are several life-saving heroes. A real page-turner, with the implicit message that survival must be a cooperative effort.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1988
Page count: 214pp
Publisher: Harper & Row