Silencing Sharks

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
228 Pages
Reviewed on 02/01/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

John Hope is an award-winning short story, children’s book, middle grade fiction, and nonfiction history writer. His work appears in science fiction/fantasy anthologies and multiple collections of the best of the Florida Writers Association. Mr. Hope, a native Floridian, loves to travel with his wife, Jaime, and two rambunctious kids. He enjoys running, reading, and writing. Oh, yeah. And he loves sharks. When he was in third grade (pictured above) he’d race to the card catalog of every library he visited and searched for one word: shark. He dreamed of being a marine biologist, swimming with sharks, studying them in and out. Often, he’d submerge to the bottoms of swimming pools and prowl like a shark, hunting, lurking. Dreams change. And though he never became a marine biologist, he got to do the next best thing – write his dreams in book form.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers' Favorite

Silencing Sharks by John Hope is a book about Peter, an awkward, gangling 13-year-old, who also happens to be deaf. Isolated from the world due to his hearing impairment, his only source of comfort, aside from his eccentric Uncle Sverrir, is the ocean. He feels at ease in the calm waters, away from the bullies and confusing world around him. While snorkeling, Peter can forget his awkward relationship with his father, the annoyance his sister Lee displays towards him, and the absence of his mother.

One day, while enjoying the peace of the ocean, he encounters a hammerhead shark. Unsure if he somehow communicated with the shark, he is determined to return to the sea to find out. When his dad learns that he saw a shark, Peter is forbidden from swimming. Peter decides to sneak out and swim anyway. He meets Rodney, the hammerhead he'd previously encountered. He learns that the sharks are in danger and need his help. He embarks on a thrilling, dangerous adventure to help the sharks.

John Hope crafted a brilliant story in Silencing Sharks. The way he describes Peter's attempts to communicate with the hearing world was well researched. I enjoyed the fact that Peter and his uncle make up signs when they don't have one. I worked with a mentally ill individual, who was deaf, who often did the same thing. This story is a fresh, clever take on feeling like an outsider and learning to accept oneself. Silencing Sharks is an easy paced read that would make it an excellent choice for younger readers.