SHARK LADY by Jess Keating


The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


A tribute to the courage and indomitable will of the renowned ichthyologist.

This eloquent profile follows Clark from a childhood visit to an aquarium through her demonstration that sharks can actually be trained and so are not “mindless killers” as widely supposed. Throughout, Keating highlights the stubborn tenacity with which she shrugged off the pressure to “Be a secretary! Be a housewife!” and followed a dream “as big as a whale shark.” Over the course of her career, she discovered several new species of fish (the Red Sea sand diver, the barred xenia pipefish, and the volcano triplefin) and proved that sharks “deserved to be studied,…protected,…and loved.” Keating focuses so closely on presenting her subject as a woman successfully overcoming gender obstacles that there are no references to Clark’s family, her death in 2015, or the fact that her mother was “of Japanese descent” and her father “American” (presumably white) until the timeline at the end—and the prejudice she encountered as a result of her mixed-race heritage goes unmentioned. In Miguéns’ neatly drawn illustrations, Clark and her mother display slightly East Asian facial features, and figures in crowd and classroom scenes are often people of color. The author appends a section of shark facts, along with a note detailing some of Clark’s other discoveries and accomplishments.

Inspiring, if agenda driven, and serviceable as a companion or alternative to Heather Lang’s Swimming with Sharks, illustrated by Jordi Solano (2016). (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 6th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4926-4204-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2017


ChildrenCUTE AS AN AXOLOTL by Jess Keating
by Jess Keating
ChildrenWHAT MAKES A MONSTER? by Jess Keating
by Jess Keating
ChildrenPINK IS FOR BLOBFISH by Jess Keating
by Jess Keating


ChildrenTHE LIZARD LADY by Jennifer Keats Curtis
by Jennifer Keats Curtis
ChildrenSWIMMING WITH SHARKS by Heather Lang
by Heather Lang
ChildrenHOW TO SPY ON A SHARK by Lori Haskins Houran
by Lori Haskins Houran