The Girl who Rode a Shark
An inspiring biographical collection celebrating the adventurousness and ingenuity of girls and women around the world
Now more than ever, the world is recognizing how strong women and girls are. How strong? In the early 1920s, Aboriginal Alaskan expeditioner Ada Blackjack survived for two years as a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Arctic Ocean before she was finally rescued. And she’s just one example.
The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women is a rousing collection of biographies focused on women and girls who have written, explored, or otherwise plunged headfirst into the pages of history. Undaunted by expectations, they made their mark by persevering in pursuit of their passions. The tales come from a huge variety of times and places, from a Canadian astronaut to an Indian secret agent and to a Balkan pirate queen who stood up to Ancient Rome.
Ailsa Ross is an author, editor, and fact-checker. Born in Scotland, she studied law with a focus on women’s and human rights. Her work on the topic of inspirational women began on social media before expanding into the world of books. She lives in Alberta’s Jasper National Park with her family.
Amy Blackwell is a freelance artist based in Nottingham, England. She works in several media including painting, printmaking, and clothing design. Her art has appeared in a variety of physical and digital settings, from magazines to Instagram. Her voracious passion for her craft is often fuelled by her fondness for pancakes.
★ “Brief biographies of 52 intrepid women, spanning the globe and all centuries, are flanked by large, full-color illustrations and by maps that show the women’s adventuring sites….The artwork, reminiscent of art deco travel posters, is a gorgeous complement to the eclectic curation….An exciting labor of love—for kids of all gender identities.”—Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review
“The subjects are fascinating, and the women come from a variety of time periods, geographic regions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicities and include women with disabilities. Yet they all shared common characteristics: the need for adventure and a desire to learn. The book also contains portraits of the women, a glossary, and information about Indigenous peoples and the world’s ever-changing political boundaries. VERDICT This colorful, delightful book is highly recommended for all history and women’s history collections.”—School Library Journal
“Brightly colored digital-media portraits face each page of text, and double-page maps pinpoint each subject’s country of origin. Truly international in scope and ranging across centuries…this attractive collection should spark inquiry for further research.”—Booklist
“The title of this new nonfiction text is enough to catch any readers’ attention, but this is only one of many qualities of this book that will keep readers engaged….The diversity of the women featured allow readers of all backgrounds to find a little bit of themselves in these stories….The colors, cultural aspects, maps, and quotes in the illustrations amplify Ross’ exquisite writing. This would be a strong addition to any middle grade or middle school collection.”—School Library Connection
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