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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.