Title: Soul Surfer.
Author: Bethany Hamilton.
Year of Publication: 2004 (USA).
Publisher: Pocket Books (USA).
Format: Available in hardback, an ebook, and an audiobook.
Cost for Hardback (RRP): $18 (USA).
Age Range: I suggest from about 8 up, if you’re younger than this I suggest asking your parents first.
This is the story about one of my biggest real life heroes, Bethany Hamilton. I love surfing even though I don’t get to surf very often because I live in the Midlands of England, so I’m about as far from the sea as I can get, and Bethany Hamilton is one of the biggest names in the surfing world. But before you loose interest and say to yourself “I don’t like surfing, why should I bother reading this?” I will answer your question: This story goes way beyond surfing; it’s a true story of the bravery of one girl to get back in the water after being attacked by a shark.
On Halloween, when Bethany was just 13 years old, she was surfing with her best friend and family in a bay not previously known for shark attacks. But on that day Bethany’s world changed forever when a Tiger Shark (about 14-15 feet long) attacked her, and bit off her left arm. Bethany was rushed to hospital and her life was saved, but that’s not the end of the story.
In the surfing community there are people called Soul Surfers; these are people who will always surf no matter what, because it’s said that they have salt water in their veins. Bethany is one of these people. Just six weeks after the attack Bethany was back in the water surfing again, and is now a professional surfer competing against all the ‘able bodied’ surfers. Though to my knowledge, she has never (and quite understandably) surfed on the beach where she was attacked again.
The book tells of how she overcame what happened that day to become a real life super hero and a living legend. She is now married, and also works as a motivational speaker and model.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Ellen Parr.