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Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Last updated Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Author: Jess Keating
Illustrator: Marta Álvarez Miguéns
Date of Publication: 2017
ISBN: 1492642045
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2021

Synopsis: Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary - and they didn't think women should be scientists. Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname "Shark Lady." Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to.

Note to readers:
•  p. 16 features facts about sharks
•  p. 17 is a timeline of Eugenie Clark’s life

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals and plants do you see on the cover?
•  What outfit is Eugenie wearing?
•  Would you like to try scuba diving?


•  damp - slightly wet
•  gills - a respiratory organ found in many aquatic organisms
•  constellations - a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern
•  current - the part of a fluid body (such as air or water) moving continuously in a certain direction
•  margins - the edge or border of something
•  sanctuary - a place of refuge or safety
•  zoology - the scientific study of the behavior, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals
•  plunged - jump or dive quickly and energetically
•  species - a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.
•  Red Sea - runs through North Africa, East Africa, and Western Asia
•  Palau Islands - located in the western Pacific Ocean near Micronesia, Guam, New Guinea, and west of the Philippines.
•  Isla Mujeres - a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea
•  dispelled - make disappear
•  myth - a widely held but false belief or idea
•  reputation - a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic
•  devised - plan or invent by careful thought

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you visited an aquarium before?
•  Do you have a favorite ocean animal?
•  Do you like swimming?
•  Have you gone swimming at the beach before? Have you seen any of the fish when in the ocean?
•  Do you have pet fish or an aquarium of your own at home?
•  What do you want to do when you grow up?

Craft ideas:
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!
•  Use the whiteboard feature on Zoom and try drawing a shark or hammer shark with the students. Please refer to the Pinterest page.
•  If students have paper plates at home, they can fold it in half and cut triangle pieces out to create a shark jaw. Please refer to the Pinterest page.

Special activities:
•  If you have snorkeling or scuba gear, you can show it to the kids!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!