The gripping excitement in this middle grade survival tale kicks off when 13 year-old Davey Tsering gets up early on the first day of his family’s vacation in Florida, and finds a secluded beach. Ignoring the “NO SW MM NG” sign, he wades into the warm water but is quickly swept out to sea by a riptide.
At its heart, this is a kid power book, switching between Davey’s coolheaded fight for survival in shark-infested waters, and his brother’s crucial role in the increasingly panicky search for him on shore.
Northrop’s (Trapped, 2011) characters are little more than outlines – this book is all about the action which it delivers in spades – though the dynamics of the Tsering family, particularly the relationship between the two brothers, is well-drawn.
Surrounded by Sharks is a fast-paced adventure, from the first pages to the final heart-stopping rescue attempt, and, coming in at just over 200 pages, will have wide appeal even to reluctant readers.