May Book Pick: Formerly, Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

formerlysharkgirlWhen I’m talking to people about my prosthetic arm, I am quick to point out that I was born this way and that I’ve been wearing a prosthesis since before I can remember.  Most people assume that there was some kind of accident and subsequent rehabilitation, and they often ask questions around that assumption.

Then since I’m a children’s librarian by trade, people will bring up Izzy Willy Nilly–a book in which a teenage girl loses a leg in a car accident–and I try to differentiate my experience from this classic teen novel that tends to be a lot of people’s only context for limb deficiency.  Izzy’s situation in the book is just as different to me as it is to anyone else.  There isn’t as much in common as you might think.  I’ve said those sentences many times over the years.

But, honestly… I’m kind of lying.  Well, let’s call it exaggerating.  I do have a few key commonalities with Izzy in that book and with Jane, the main character in my Book Pick for May, Formerly, Shark Girl.  Izzy, Jane, and I all live with a lot of assumptions about who we are and what our lives are like.  We are heroes or victims.  Inspirations or curiosities.  But we’d like to be more.

This is an uplifting novel about the big life decisions that will appeal to fans of realistic teen fiction, especially if you like novels in verse.  But it’s also an opportunity to challenge your assumptions about people who look different.

If you are curious about my story, you can check out Fake Arm 101 for answers to some frequently asked questions. You can also find more reading material on my list of books about various disability experiences.

Did you miss last month’s Book Pick?  Check it out: The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  A portion of purchases made from these links may benefit Proper Noun Blog.  Thanks for your support! :)

5 thoughts on “May Book Pick: Formerly, Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

  1. Hi Mindy,

    I’ll have to read this one.

    And I know it isn’t exactly the same, but I have CP, and for what seems like my entire life, I’ve been saying/answering people with, No, I’m not paralyzed and I haven’t been shot.

    Although, I when I was a kid, I told people I’d been in a motorcycle accident. Just to shake things up a little.

    And I know this might be a little forward of me, but I’m going on a blogging hiatus to get married and honeymooned, asking for guest posts while I’m away. Would you consider writing one?

    Thanks, and I’m glad I found your blog!

    Lorna

    • Thank you, Lorna. I appreciate your kind words and your perspective on disability. I might be interested in contributing a guest post for your blog. Feel free to email me with the details. lovelymindyreadermaid @ gmail . com :)

  2. Pingback: June Book Pick: Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler | Proper Noun Blog

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