Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Battle of the Books at My Library and Book Review: Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

You all probably know by now that I am not usually a nonfiction reader.  On occasion I will try a work of nonfiction, but I definitely prefer to read fiction.  Every year in November at my library we host a Battle of the Books competition.  In fact, last year was our 25th anniversary of the competition!  The previous teen librarian who started Battle all those years ago even came to the competition to celebrate with us.  It was a great event.  One change that I made to the competition after taking over several years ago was the addition of a nonfiction title.  This has always been the toughest book for me to choose, but I think we have selected some really great books in the years we have been doing this.

This year, with the movie coming out, I decided that I would look at the book Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton.  Right now, our library's holds list for this book is crazy long, so I thought perhaps I should take a look.  After reading it, I am not sure if it will be a good fit for Battle (I have to write 100 questions per book for battle--I am not sure I can get that from this book), but I think it is an interesting read for those interested in seeing the movie.

Title: Soul Surfer
Author: Bethany Hamilton
Genre: Teen Nonfiction
Publication Date: October 5, 2004
Publisher: MTV
ISBN-13 Book: 9780743499224
Source: Checked out a copy of the book from my public library.  This is my honest review!
 

Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the BoardSoul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Soul Surfer is an inspiring story about not giving up.  After losing her arm in a shark attack, fourteen year-old Bethany Hamilton returns to her beloved sport of surfing.  This novel was written shortly after the accident and primarily focuses on Bethany's faith and her love of surfing.  During the attack Bethany stays remarkably calm while her friends get her to shore and later to the hospital.  In the book Bethany shares her love of surfing, her love of family, and her strong faith in God.

Soul Surfer has just recently been made into a movie, and I admit that I was curious about the book.  The hold list for this title at our library is getting longer by the day as more and more people want to read it.  It is a surprisingly quick read.  I was able to finish this book in one day.  The book is touching and at times heart-wrenching.  I kept thinking about what her family was going through as they rushed to the hospital not knowing how Bethany was doing.  

My only comment on the book is that there wasn't a lot of meat to the story.  Many themes are repeated over and over, especially her faith in God.  There weren't a lot of details about her recovery--it seemed kind of brief, and perhaps that is because the book was written so soon after the accident.  She was still recovering from the injury.  I think this might have been better if she had waited a few years to write it. 

Overall this is an inspirational book written by a talented and inspiring teen.  I would recommend it to those who are interested in seeing the movie and those who love biographies and inspiring stories. 


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