Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist

Written by: Jess Keating

Illustrated by: Marta Alvarez Miguens

For Ages: 4-8

Language: English

Topics Covered: Trailblazing, Science, Women in STEM, Asian-American Women, Courage, Self-Confidence.

Summary: Eugenie was a young girl that loved sharks more than anything.  She loved diving underwater and gazing at all of the sea life.  Eugenie read every book she could find about sharks, and even became the Queens County Aquarium Society’s youngest member!  As Eugenie got older, some professors told her women weren’t smart enough to be scientists.  She studied and studied, earning her degree and finally being able to dive in the open ocean to research aquatic life.  Eugenie discovered three new species of fish!  She even dispelled the myth that sharks can never stop swimming, and soon Eugenie became known as “Shark Lady”.  In order to prove sharks weren’t mindless killing machines, she trained some to push a button to earn a reward!  Eugenie Clark did not give up, and she achieved her dream of ensuring sharks were respected, loved, and studied.

The last few pages of the book is more scientific information about sharks, as well as a timeline of Eugenie’s accomplishments. This book is great for a budding scientist, or an accompanying book for a science unit in school!

Reflection Questions:

  • What’s your favorite underwater creature?
  • If you were going to become a scientist, what would you like to study?
  • Do you agree with Eugenie that sharks are smart?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick a shark featured in the book and learn more about them. Do you think you could train a shark like Eugenie did?
  • Get in touch with a local aquarium or marine biologist, are they able to visit the classroom or video chat? As a group, make a list of questions to ask the scientist about different topics they study!
  • Visit an aquarium or touch tank and get up close to the creatures of the deep that Eugenie loved so much!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

jess keatingJess Keating is a fiction and nonfiction writer who loves telling fun stories in any way she can. She also has a Masters of Science in Zoology, so she gets to throw around goofy animal facts a lot. Did you know that a sea cucumber breathes out its BUTT? Moving on. She’s always loved writing and making up stories. She even started a library in her room when she was a kid, so she could charge my brother late fees. To this day, he still owes her 8 bucks. She is also a giant science nerd, and loves to incorporate weird science in her books. Today, she writes books for adventurous, curious, and funny kids. Some are middle grade novels and some are picture books, but they are all fun to read! (Promise.) Her agent is the brilliant Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Marta Alvarez Miguens 2Marta Alvarez Miguens is a children’s book illustrator. Born in 1976 in a small town in Galicia (Spain), she has lived in Santiago de Compostela, Bordeaux, and Berlin. She currently lives in La Coruña (Spain). Marta has been illustrating professionally since 2002 for publishers such as Santillana, Anaya, Edelvives, and Oxford University Press, among others. Marta participated in the International Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava (BIB) and is a member of the Galician Illustration Association (AGPI). Her artwork is characterized by happy colors and cute children and animals with red, healthy cheeks. She uses digital techniques to create her pictures, which gives her more freedom to experiment with color and textures. She has also worked in gouache and watercolor. In her spare time, Marta loves playing with her three cats, walking in the woods, watching movies, and drinking a cup of coffee with her friends.

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